The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) received a total of 2,754 separate allegations of misconduct over the past 12 months, official figures show. 

These allegations included acts of fraud and money laundering along with compliance complaints.

The data, analysed by a Parliament Street think tank and contained in the FCA’s newly published Annual Report and Accounts 2020/21, details the allegations, which were provided by a total of 1,046 whistleblowers.

The report also revealed that there are 184 individuals and firms under investigation for carrying out unauthorised business, and £189.8m in financial penalties had been handed out over the same period, alongside a number of prosecutions alleging insider dealing, investment fraud, or money laundering.

The 1,046 ‘whistleblowing’ reports is a small reduction when compared to the 1,100 reports in 2019/20, and, this year, 15 led to ‘significant action’ which may have included enforcement action.

In a further 135 cases they took ‘action’ to mitigate harm, which included writing to or visiting a firm, requesting further information, or asking a firm to attest to compliance with the rules.

145 cases were said to have helped inform the FCAs work, and were relevant to the prevention of harm, but did not lead to any specific action; 97 cases were not considered relevant, and 654 cases were still being assessed at the time the report was published.

Wayne Johnson, CEO, Encompass Corporation, 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.”