Enforcement activity at the Financial Conduct Authority has increased year-on-year to record levels.
The year to March saw 508 cases opened and 510 cases resolved. That compares with 445 and 431 in the previous year.
The cases range from serious misconduct, to misdemeanours such as failing to pay fees.
In a note for the FCA’s annual report, Tim Parkes, chair of the regulatory decisions committee (RDC) of the CFA, said: “Looking forward, I would expect a largely similar mix of cases to those we have seen over the last year…
“We shall however look out for our first case involving the new senior managers and certification regime (SMCR), since I know it is of interest to the industry and advisers, to understand how the RDC will deal with cases involving the new duty of responsibility which the SMCR has introduced.”
The duty of responsibility gives the FCA powers to take action against managers who fail to take reasonable steps to avoid contravening regulation.
During the year, the FCA dealt with 1,106 cases from whistleblowers. Of those, 649 were disclosures within the FCA’s remit.
The annual report said: “Whistleblowing disclosures are a vital and unique source of information for us.
“They demonstrate that we have acted compatibly with our strategic objective to ensure relevant markets function well, and they help us deliver our operational objectives to protect consumers and the integrity of financial markets.
“They do this by helping us take enforcement action against firms and individuals, deliver effective supervision through our work with firms or thematic work, and better understand the behaviour of the firms we regulate.”
The FCA’s new measures now mean that all whistleblowers attend a meeting with FCA staff to “build their trust and reflect the value we place on them,” the annual report said.