Fines imposed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) since 1 January 2012 (through 20 December) have totalled £310 million, more than four times the total for 2011 (see Figure 1 below). This increase is due to a handful of very large fines, including the £160 million fine against UBS for LIBOR manipulation announced 19 December, which is the largest-ever FSA fine by a substantial margin.
The number of fines assessed against firms, 25, was in line with last year. In contrast, the number of fines against individuals fell to its lowest level since 2009, and the aggregate fine amount imposed on individuals fell slightly compared to 2011.
The dramatic increase in aggregate fines is the result of a few headline-grabbing penalties against banks, notably those against UBS and Barclays for manipulation of LIBOR and EURIBOR, and against UBS for failing to prevent unauthorised trading by a rogue trader, Kweku Adoboli. Those three fines alone totalled nearly £250 million. The size of fines against banks, of which there were nine in 2012 as compared to seven in 2011, largely explains the £244 million jump in the annual totals.