The end of the year is always a good time to look at overall figures and do a year on year comparison and judging by the media this month, it seems the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is being judged based on how many companies it has fined.

In 2009, figures show the FSA fined companies almost £35 million as the FSA cracked down on breaches of regulation and other practices over the last couple of years – many of which were brought to light by the ensuing impact of the credit crunch.

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, a law firm, commented that the FSA’s fines or £34.8 million is 53 per cent higher than the fines given in the previous year. As the number of firms receiving fines are said to have also decreased from 50 in 2008 to 39 in 2009; this combination of the fallen number of companies fined and the increase in the fine amount would appear to demonstrate that the FSA has imposed larger and more damaging fines to companies this year.

One law firm’s spokesman commented that this approach could mean that financial sector companies could become ‘scared of their own shadow’ and spend much more money on checking their compliance systems. He added that personal fines have also been imposed on senior members of staff and managers within these companies indicating that the FSA is being much more aggressive with regulation breaches and compliance issues.

When studying for any financial qualification, such as the CeFA and the CeMAP qualification, the role of the FSA is covered in some detail as compliance is very important in this sector.

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