The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed financial penalties totalling more than £313m in the last financial year – up by 65 per cent when compared to the £189.8m worth of fines issued across the 2020/21 financial year.
The surge, revealed in the FCA’s Annual Report and Accounts 2021/22, marks a new record for the body. This year also marked the FCA’s first successful criminal prosecution under money laundering regulation offences.
In 2021, the FCA issued more than 1,400 alerts on its website about firms or individuals – an increase of almost 18 per cent from 2020. Similarly, 842 enquiry cases relating to reports of potential unauthorised business were opened.
Over the last 12 months, the FCA, working to become more innovative and adaptive, has continued to invest in data and technology, with more than £120m having been dedicated to improving data capabilities since 2019.
Against a backdrop of industry challenges and evolving requirements, the body has also worked to enhance cooperation with international regulators to bring better standards across the board.
Additionally, it continues to use whistleblowing reports as a vital source of information and, between April 2021 and March 2022, received and assessed 1,041 of these reports, which included 2,114 separate allegations. As of April 2022, reports recorded within the most recent financial year had led to ‘significant’ action being taken to manage harm in three cases, with action taken to reduce harm in 96 instances. 801 cases remain under assessment.
Dr Henry Balani, Global Head of Industry and Regulatory Affairs for Encompass Corporation, commented:
“During the last few years, the FCA has made a series of commitments to improve the regulatory environment. Results have been evidenced by the increased investment in technology and data, stricter regulatory impositions and level of fines we have seen. It is encouraging that the body has taken real strides to crackdown on financial crime.
“As enforcement continues, and in light of these increasing fines, financial institutions must continue to take their responsibilities when it comes to financial crime seriously, which means proactively addressing how they deal with it by following regulatory guidelines and utilising the best in RegTech solutions to improve compliance processes and reporting measures.”
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