The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued £7.2m worth of fines in the first half of 2015.
To put that number in perspective, the regulator issued £905m fines over the course of 2015, including a number of fines well over £100m in the period.
The number of fines issued almost halved in H1 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.
One big difference has been the types of fines. Whereas in 2015, the FCA issued huge fines to large banks, such as a £226m fine for Deutshe Bank in April 2015, in 2016 this has not been the case.
The largest fine so far has been a combined £14m fine for insurer Shay Jacob Reches
The drop in fines roughly coincides with the political upheaval which the FCA has been under over the past year.
In July 2015, former chief executive of the FCA Martin Wheatley announced his intention to stand down from the job. It was soon revealed that the reason for this was UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne revealing to Wheatley his contract wouldn’t be renewed.
Tracey McDermott took over from Wheatley on a temporary basis, however the FCA has since found itself on the receiving end of criticism that it has been ‘neutered’ or gone soft, by both national press and MPs.
At the start of 2016, it was revealed that Andrew Bailey would become the permanent new chief executive of the FCA. At the time, he said shooting first and asking questions later wasn’t in his philosophy.
What this means for the number of fines the FCA issues going forward, only time will tell.