FCA receives over 2,700 financial misconduct complaints over 2020/21

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed it received a total of 2,754 allegations of financial misconduct over the 2020/21 financial year.

The FCA recently published its Annual Report and Accounts 2020/21, which detailed that the allegations of amongst other things fraud, money laundering and compliance complaints were provided by a total of 1,046 whistle-blowers.

Of the 1,046 whistleblowing reports, 15 of them led to significant action to mitigate harm which may have included enforcement action.

In a further 135 cases, the organisation took ‘action’ to mitigate harm, while 145 cases were said to have helped inform the work of the FCA. A total of 97 cases were considered relevant and 654 cases were still being assessed at the time of report publication.

The report found that there are currently 184 individuals and firms under investigation for carrying out unauthorised business, alongside £189.8m in financial penalties that had been handed out over the year.

The organisation highlighted that it has strengthened its anti-money laundering (AML) supervisions over the last year and has become more data-led. The FCA said at the end of March this year that it had increased the number of companies required to submit financial crime-related data.

Furthermore, the FCA handled 97 cases involving AML in the retail banking sector, while 138 crypto firms that appeared to be trading without applying for a registration had been placed on a public-facing register.

Encompass Corporation CEO Wayne Johnson said, “This year, more individuals are attempting to use the chaos of the pandemic to carry out financial crime. Therefore, it is important that the FCA is taking the necessary to steps to tighten their control and increase visibility over new sectors and payments technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, which are being used to launder money.

“But, the fight against financial crime can’t be won by the regulators alone, and businesses from all sectors must improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their onboarding processes, compliance and due diligence, not just for the sake of ‘ticking boxes’ and averting regulatory fines, but to help prevent even more financial crime and dirty money running through critical businesses and infrastructure.

“In today’s digital climate, organisations are encouraged to invest in automated regulatory technology, which can boost the effectiveness and efficiency of compliance programmes whilst keeping costs low.”

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