Great Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ramped up its enforcement actions once again and has levied the highest amount of fines against firms in the last 4 years. This Monday, the Financial Times reported that a crackdown on mis selling and financial crimes has resulted in the regulator imposing penalties totaling £391.8 million (around $516.1 million) so far in 2019.
Not only has the FCA dished out more fines this year, but the regulator has also issued more fines exceeding £10 million, known as “blockbuster” fines than it did last year. Throughout the year, nine out of the total 17 penalties exceeded this amount, in comparison to just two in 2018.
While the amount of fines levied is very high, as compared to other years and other jurisdictions, it remains to be seen what kind of tools the FCA has at its disposal to demand payment from firms who have been impacted. Furthermore, we are yet to see a breakdown of the firms involved by the type of financial services offered. So far, we only know that Standard Chartered bank is one of the institutions having a £102 million fine imposed.
As in other jurisdictions, including Australia, regulators are facing difficulty enforcing fines and receiving funds from sanctioned companies and it remains to be seen how much of the total $516.1 million issued so far in 2019 will actually be remunerated to the Financial Conduct Authority.