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FSA considers tougher penalties

Financial Times: FSA considers tougher penalties

“The FSA recently imposed a £17m fine on Royal Dutch/Shell, but the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US regulator, issued a $120m (£66.7m) penalty.”

Published: October 1 2004

The Financial Services Authority could increase the size of its fines if companies regard the penalties as a “minor cost of doing business”. Callum McCarthy, FSA chairman, said it was important enforcement actions carried a clear message. “If there were not a clear reputational risk associated with our action, if people regarded it as a minor cost of doing business, we would have to reconsider, including the amount of the fines,” he said. The FSA recently imposed a £17m fine on Royal Dutch/Shell, but the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US regulator, issued a $120m (£66.7m) penalty.

Mr McCarthy also said the FSA was willing to reform itself in response to findings by an independent tribunal that deals with challenges to enforcement decisions. He also acknowledged the inevitability that some FSA enforcement actions would be rejected or varied by the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal.

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