FSA dished out record £312m in fines last year

According to the figures from the law firm, the FSA’s total fines for 2012 hit £312m. Without any discounts the figure would have been £411m.

Richard Burger, partner of RPC, said the FSA beat its previous high of £89m in 2010, and said the figure was boosted by fines for Libor fixing, with Barclays paying £59.5m and UBS £160m during 2012.

He said: “The FSA will soon cease to exist but it has managed to ratchet up its fines to record levels as it bows out.

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“The FSA has been raked over the coals for not being tough enough in the run-up to the credit crunch, but these record fines show that it is now a very different organisation.

“It is willing and able to use fines and restitution orders to send hard messages to financial services firms.”

At the end of 2012 the FSA censured stockbroking firm Gracechurch Investments, banned the company’s compliance officer and banned and fined its chief executive £450,000 for pressure-selling tactics leading to client losses of at least £2m.

Adviser view

Kim Barrett, managing director of Hertfordshire-based Barretts Financial Solutions, said: “The level of these fines illustrates an endemic problem in the UK that individuals are rarely held responsible for failures. It is not just in financial services that this happens. These fines probably help cover some of the FSA costs and hopefully keeps my regulatory fees down.”