FSA fines set to treble as the watchdog shows its teeth

FINES handed out by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) are likely to triple in size when the regulator puts in place its new financial penalties policy next week.

Fines will be more closely linked to income as part of the new framework that will come into force on 6 March.

“We imposed record fines in 2009, but this new approach further amplifies the deterrent effect of our penalties and sends a powerful message to firms,” said FSA enforcement director Margaret Cole.

From next week, the FSA has the power to fine an individual up to 40 per cent of their pay.

The watchdog will also be able to levy a fine of up to 20 per cent of sales from the business unit or product involved in any offence.

“The FSA’s increased penalties represent a much more developed strategy of policing firms through targeting individuals who will be far less well-placed to shrug off the fines than their employers might be,” said Ash Saluja of law firm CMS Cameron McKenna.