The number of investigations carried out by the FCA increased by 20 per cent last year, with the number of investigations ending with no public outcome doubling over the same period.
Data compiled by law firm Pinsent Masons, published by the Financial Times, shows that the number of inquiries opened by the regulator grew to 109 in 2014, from 90 the previous year.
The number of company investigations that concluded in secret has gone from seven to 14 last year.
Pinsent Masons senior associate Michael Ruck says: “The increased number of investigations into companies being closed without a public outcome may raise eyebrows, although this needs to be seen within the context of a rise in the number of such investigations launched and the increasing sophistication of compliance functions within financial institutions.”
There were 60 inquiries opened in 2014 into individual employees, compared to 54 the previous year.
The FCA is still trailing the number of investigations carried out by its predecessor the FSA, which opened 134 inquiries in 2012 and 87 investigations into individuals.
Ruck adds: “This is particularly striking given the FCA’s rhetoric around taking action against those individuals responsible for misconduct, suggesting that the focus is now more targeted, focusing on a smaller group of senior individuals in addition to organisations.”