2022 FCA Guide

FCA fines 2021 and what’s in store for 2022

Should you want to measure the success of the FCA in 2021 by the number and size of fines levied, then the year was certainly a good one. The year recorded a near fourfold increase to a staggering £577 million.

The year’s biggest contributors where the high street banks where a very “healthy” run from the FCA in December landed Natwest and HSBC fines of £265m and £63.9m respectively. The common theme for both these penalties surrounded failings in their money laundering processes.

The “Santa rally” of fines in the two weeks before Christmas saw the year’s fines hit a six year high.
Other whale size fines were levied against Credit Suisse for deficiencies in their anti-bribery controls and for Lloyds for unfairly treating customers during the renewal of their home insurance. Credit Suisse was fined £150m and Lloyds £90m.

Source: FCA. Year end December 17 2021

The number of fines also increased by 57 per cent in 2021 to 11 from the previous year of 7.

Interestingly, a Claims Management Company (CMC) were among those fined. CMCs are a recent addition to the FCA stable of firms they supervise having previously come under the Ministry of Justice.

Crosfill & Archer Claims Limited were fined £110,00 for making unsolicited telemarketing calls to people who registered not to receive this type of sales call.

Jencap’s John Bull warns that financial penalties do not reflect the entire arsenal the FCA has when it comes to punishing errant firms, “in addition to curtailing certain permissions, banning bad players and withdrawal of authorisation, for smaller firms particularly, the costs are almost unmeasurable”.

Many industry commentators consider that 2022 will be a year of further fines and may well top this year’s total. “I can certainly see many more fines on the horizon as well as the FCA imposing greater sanctions on firms it deems to be harmful to both consumers and the markets” Bull added.

Areas that will continue to be of interest in 2022

  • Anti-money laundering
  • Marketing of high-risk investments
  • The Appointed Representative sector
  • The British Steel redress scheme
  • Consumer Duty

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