View more on these topics

The biggest FCA fines of 2015

FCA logo new 3 620x430

The FCA imposed a total of £905,219,078 in fines in 2014 against 39 firms. The level of penalties marks a 38 per cent fall on the £1.4bn issued in fines in 2014.

Banks continued to pay the price for foreign exchange failings, as well as manipulating Libor rates.

Issues around complaint handling related to missold payment protection insurance also saw record fines.

But it was not just the banks that got hit, with major fund groups also paying the price for regulatory failings.

Here is our breakdown of the biggest FCA enforcement cases this year.

10. Ex-hedge fund chief executive Alberto Micalizzi – £2.7m

Former hedge fund Dynamic Decisions Capital Management chief executive Alberto Micalizzi is the only individual to have a multi-million pound fine issued against him this year.

He was banned and fined in July after appealing the decision against him.

The Dynamic Decisions fund was marketed as having a low risk, highly liquid strategy. But in the last few months of 2008 during the financial crisis the fund suffered massive losses amounting to approximately 85 per cent of its value.

Micalizzi sought to conceal these losses from investors by deliberately misrepresenting the fund’s value.

9. Threadneedle – £6m

Threadneedle Asset Management was fined over £6m earlier this month over failing to put in place adequate controls in its fixed income business.

The failings allowed a fund manger on the emerging markets debt desk to initiate, execute and book a $150m trade which, had it settled, could have caused a $110m loss to the relevant client funds.

Threadneedle also failed to provide accurate information to the regulator and failed to correct this for four months.

8. Merrill Lynch International – £13.3m

In April the FCA imposed its highest fine for transaction reporting failures on Merrill Lynch International.

The firm incorrectly reported over 35 million transactions, and failed to report a further 121,387 transactions for seven years.

Merril Lynch was privately warned about its misconduct in 2002, and fined £150,000 in 2006.

7. Aviva Investors – £17.6m

Aviva Investors Global Services was fined £17.6m in February for failing to manage conflicts of interest.

A total of £132m has been paid in compensation to eight affected funds to ensure none of the funds were adversely impacted.

The regulator found that Aviva Investors operated systems which were open to abuse and allowed traders to “cherry pick” funds which paid higher performance fees.

6. Clydesdale Bank – £20.7m

Clydesdale Bank was hit with a £20.7m fine in April over the way it handled payment protection insurance complaints.

The failings date back to mid-2011 when the bank’s policies meant that complaint handlers did not search for documents in relation to mortgages and loans repaid more than seven years prior to the complaint.

But in some cases relevant documents were available.

Between May 2012 and June 2013, Clydesdale also provided false information to the Financial Ombudsman Service in response to requests for evidence of the bank’s PPI records.

5. Barclays – £72m

In November the FCA issued its largest ever fine for financial crime failings against Barclays.

The bank agreed a £1.9bn transaction for ultra high-net-worth clients in 2011 and 2012.

The transaction was dubbed the “elephant deal” internally, and netted the bank £52.3m.

4. Lloyds Banking Group – £117m

The regulator imposed its largest ever retail penalty in June after Lloyds failed to properly handle PPI complaints.

The bank’s staff were told to assume its sales processes were compliant and robust, which led to complaint handlers unfairly rejecting cases or failing to fully investigate them.

As a result Lloyds reviewed or chose automatically to uphold around 1.2 million PPI complaints, and set aside £710m for redress.

3. BNY Mellon – £126m

Bank of New York Mellon was fined £126m in April for failing to comply with client money rules.

Firms are required to keep records of client accounts and state which division the client monies relate to. Instead BNY Mellon used global platforms to manage custody of assets.

Following the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008, the FSA required chief executives to confirm they complied with the client money rules.

2. Deutsche Bank – £227m

The FCA fined Deutsche Bank in April for manipulating Libor and Euribor. Combined with fines imposed by US regulators, the total penalties against Deutsche Bnk were £1.7bn.

The FCA revealed a number of incriminating messages between traders, including one request to a Libor submitter which said a low fix “would be the best xmas present”.

  1. Barclays – £284m

The second appearance for Barclays, the bank was fined £284.4m after traders used chat room to manipulate foreign exchange rates.

The penalty was the largest every imposed by either the FCA or FSA.

After reaching settlements with US regulators, the bank paid a total of £1.5bn in fines.

Certain groups of traders described themselves as “the players”, “the 3 musketeers”, and said “we all die together”.


FCA logo new 620x430.jpg

Govt casts its shadow over the FCA

2015 was the year the Government cast a looming shadow over the FCA, from dictating the regulator’s workload to ousting its senior management. The controlling hand of Government in regulatory affairs was made abundantly clear in July when it was announced that FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley would be stepping down. A statement from Chancellor […]


‘Elephant’ deals and cutting corners: Why FCA fined Barclays £72m

Staff at Barclays lowered due diligence standards for a group of ultra high-net-worth individuals in a bid to avoid “irritating” the clients, the FCA’s final notice reveals. This morning the regulator revealed it had fined the bank £72m for applying lower standards of scrutiny to a £1.88bn deal involving several “politically exposed persons”. According to […]


Should Govt back Hector Sants’ plan to strip FCA of fining powers?

Proposals from former FSA chief executive Hector Sants to strip the power to set fines away from the regulator have been given a cool reception by the industry. Sants made the suggestion as part of a report commissioned by the British Bankers Association last week. Now working for consultancy Oliver Wyman, he argued the Government […]


Down the plughole: Where has all the FCA fine money gone?

Mark Sands and Tessa Norman The Treasury is facing calls to revisit the way it handles FCA fines amid mounting concern about a lack of transparency in the current system. Historically, excesses in fine revenue were directed back to firms to reduce overall regulatory costs. However, regulatory fines handed out since April 2012 have passed […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm