A Freedom of Information request revealed that £4m went to executives earning over £100,000 and one employee received a bonus of £90,000.
The average bonus paid to regulator executives was £19,100, while the average for other staff was £4,107.
Liberal Democrat shadow culture, media and sport secretary Don Foster says: “The size of some of these pay outs would be hard to justify at the best of times, but it looks especially bad in the current economic climate.
“Regulators must now follow the lead of those in the rest of the public sector who have promised to freeze executive pay.”
In February Money Marketing reported that the FSA had set aside £10m in its 2009/10 budget to increase staff pay, as well as 15 per cent of total staff salaries for potential bonuses.
An FSA spokesman said at the time that pay increases and bonuses would only be awarded “where they are warranted”.
The Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers says it is “outraged” at the 40 per cent bonus increase, despite regulatory failures in the private client sector.
Apcims chief executive David Bennett says: “The FSA have awarded themselves totally unjustified bonuses at a time when the industries they regulate have had to pull in their belts. In our own sector the FSA have increased fees by 27.6 per cent for certain activities compared to last year. This is at a time when our firms are being asked to pay £80m in compensation claims, something many firms would argue would not be necessary had they undertaken their regulatory duties properly.
“There is not a bottomless pit for private client investment management firms and until the FSA can prove they are able to regulate our sector effectively there should be a freeze on their bonuses.”