Fines from global regulators exceed $10.5 billion in 2023 exposing new leading areas of enforcement

GDPR AND DATA PROTECTION
The EU levied fines totalling almost €2.1 billion for breaking the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The biggest fines in Europe continue to be seen in data protection against non-financial entities. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) fined Meta, a non-financial company, two of the highest amounts for data breaches in the first half of the year. The historic and groundbreaking 2023 GDPR fine exceeded €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion).

CRYPTO AND DIGITAL ASSETS
The regulatory landscape for crypto and digital assets witnessed an unparalleled surge in enforcement actions. The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance faced a staggering $4 billion fine from the U.S. Government – Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – for the violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. It’s the biggest fine of the year and equally a first occurrence that the cryptocurrency and digital asset markets accounted for two of the top twelve, with the highest fines.

REGIONS
Geographically, the number of fines in the Americas was fourteen times higher than in the APAC and four times higher than in Europe. While the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK had a relatively quiet year on the fines front with just a comparatively shy £52.8 million ($66.7 million).

REGULATORS
After a remarkably silent first two quarters, global regulators fined over 80% of the total amount from July to December 2023. The US regulators occupied the leading positions in all the fines categories. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) are among the most active regulators, issuing fines frequently. At $3.4 billion and $1.4 billion in enforcement fines, respectively, FinCen and the Department of Justice (DoJ) are at the top of the list in terms of the amounts.

AREAS OF REGULATORY RISK
The year showed that financial crime, data protection, and governance were the main risk categories for financial services with the highest penalties last year. $6.7 billion of fines were imposed for financial crime, most of which were for money laundering and terrorist financing.


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Global Enforcement Data 2022

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