Watchdog fines treble amid rise in fraud cases
The UK's finance watchdog has said that it trebled the amount of fines it dished out in the past year, following an increase in fraud cases.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued £227.3m in financial penalties in the year to March, up from £69.9m last year.
The FCA said its total number of enforcement cases jumped 31% to 650, including a significant rise in cases affecting retail investors.
Misconduct in retail financial services jumped 29% to 101 over the 12-month period after a number of high-profile cases, including the collapse of London Capital & Finance.
The regulator also said it had to transform its response to fraud to keep pace with criminals who use fast-changing technology to scam customers.
It said criminal activity had become "increasingly sophisticated", with the regulator issuing 521 warnings about unauthorised firms, up from 328 the previous year.
Chief executive Andrew Bailey said: "Over the last year we've made a range of important interventions which have brought real benefits to consumers.
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"As we reflect on the last year and what we've achieved, we are also mindful of the rapidly evolving landscape."
Chairman Charles Randell said the report displayed the breadth of the FCA's work.