Financial services fines have fallen to their lowest annual level since 2007 but FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey argues this does not mean the regulator is going soft on banks.
The Guardian reports that year to date, the FCA has imposed a total of 23 fines worth £22.2m, down from 40 in 2015 worth £905m.
The amount issued has fallen from the last two years which saw substantial penalties for Libor and foreign exchange rigging.
The FSA issued £5.3m in fines in 2007, which rose to £22.7m in 2008 and increased to a peak of £1.5bn in 2014.
Aviva received the biggest fine of the year so far at £8.2m for client money failures.
Bailey said: “If we were to maintain the level that we had a few years ago, it would imply we were having something on the level of Libor and foreign exchange every year. If that happened, we would be asking ourselves: ‘What is going on?’ We would need a major blow-up every year to maintain that level of activity and that isn’t our objective.”
Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright partner Peter Snowdon told the newspaper: “City firms think there has been a change in approach and that the new regime wants to be seen as less strident than the last one. Even taking into account the very large fines last year, that change is arguably reflected in the drop-off in fines.”
No UK bank has been fined this year.