UK regulators are getting tougher on financial crime by issuing tougher penalties to wrongdoers, according to new analysis
Research recently released shows that, over the past two years, the punishments handed out by the UK’s regulatory bodies – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) – saw fines rise by 271% percent. Prison sentences increased by 124%; with company directors facing an average prison sentence of four years or more.
The findings showed that 58% of cases investigated by the SFO resulted in prison sentences, 56% of cases investigated by the FCA resulted in fines and that 95% of cases investigated by the CMA and OFT were due to a proposed or completed merger or acquisition. That last statistic is particularly telling – indicating that the circumstances are right for crime when the working environment is possibly lacking established and tested compliance systems.