As the financial regulatory landscape in the United Kingdom becomes increasingly tighter, the banking sector is subjected to accelerated enforcement actions. In just a year, these regulatory measures have resulted in banks facing astronomical fines, reflecting the magnitude of the penalties imposed.
In this line, data acquired by Finbold indicates that UK banks were fined £178 million (US$222.16) between June 2022 and June 2023.
Among these fines, Santander UK accounted for the largest portion, with $133.73 million, representing approximately 60% of the cumulative penalties.
TSB Bank followed with the second-highest, amounting to $36.91 million. Citigroup Global Markets Limited ranked third, with fines totalling $15.57 million. The fourth-highest penalties were attributed to Metro Bank, amounting to $12.41 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank ranked fifth with fines totalling $9.52 million.
Other banks that incurred high fines include; Ghana International Bank ($7.23 million), Al Rayan Bank ($4.99 million), and Gatehouse Bank ($1.97 million).
The extent of banking sector fines
The report highlighted the implications and nature of the fines affecting the UK banking sector. According to the research report:
"The fines shed light on the extent of the penalties imposed, underscoring the pressing need for enhanced compliance and ethical practices within the banking industry.
"Notably, numerous instances of enforcement actions have shared a common thread: the occurrence of comparable circumstances where an institution becomes aware of its shortcomings or flaws but falls short of rectifying them sufficiently."
Overall, regulatory enforcement is likely to become more assertive, with banking firms being pushed to evaluate the strength of their compliance programs and policies to avoid enforcement action.