Caught in the act: 10 of the biggest watchdog fines

fraud

As energy giant SSE faces a record fine for mis-selling, we look back at some of the biggest penalties handed out by regulators in recent years.

It seems you can't read the news these days without another company being smacked with a multi-million pound fine and a slap on the wrists for doing something they shouldn't have been doing.

We take a look at the top fines to hit companies that were doing the consumer wrong.

Libor Rigging, 2012/2013

Last year the news of Libor and Euribor rates rigging - the rates at which banks lend to each other - saw a number of household names penalised.

Despite very few consumers actually being affected by the riggings, the anti-bank sentiment had many up in arms over the financial services industry's (mis)conducts.

UBS - £160m, 2012

Royal Bank of Scotland - £87.5m, 2013

Barclays - £59.5m, 2012

British Airways £58.5m, 2012

The airline was smacked with a record fine for colluding with rival Virgin Atlantic over passenger fuel surcharges by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The initial fine was £121.5m, but the OFT halved it to £58.5m because BA 'co-operated with it in its investigations'.

JPMorgan Securities: £33.3m, 2010

The largest single fine the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has imposed was a whopping £33.3m levied on JPMorgan Securities in June 2010 for failing to protect client money.

The regulator fined the UK arm of the investment bank for breaching its client money rules by failing to segregate $23bn of client money from its other operations.

The FSA said that the penalty reflected the 'scale of the problem and the fact it had gone undetected for seven years'.

Shell: £17m, 2004

The third largest fine in the history of the FSA was surprisingly not levied on a financial services company but on oil company Shell.

Shell was fined £17m in August 2004 for misleading investors for half a decade about the true extent of its oil reserves. When the real figures were revealed, its share price dropped 7.5% and its market capitalisation fell £2.bn.

Card Protection Plan £10.5m, 2012

The credit card insurer Card Protection Plan (CPP) was hit with the FSA's largest retail fine of £10.5m for widespread mis-selling of insurance products.

Customers were told that CPP's card protection product would provide consumers with up to £100,000 of insurance cover, when they were already covered by their banks, while thoroughly overstating the risks and consequences of identity theft in selling its identity protection product.

 

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