The FSA handed out heavier fines to fewer firms in 2009, figures show.
According to law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC), the FSA fined 39 firms a total of £34.8m this year. This compares with 50 fines in 2008 worth £22.6m.
RPC says 2009 saw eight companies fined £1m or more.
The average fine handed down by the FSA in 2009 was £891,000, up 97% on 2008 when it was £453,000.
The average fine against individuals jumped 60% to £70,303 in 2009, up from £43,854 the previous year.
Steven Francis, partner in RPC's financial services team, says: "The FSA is playing to many different audiences and unfortunately for financial services companies most of them want the FSA to punish the sector.
"It seems to be looking to impose ever bigger fines and some people have started to ask if there is a certain amount of grandstanding in these fines, especially with the Conservative Party threatening to break up the FSA.
"If the FSA continues to rack up the pain against the financial services sector then at some point the sector will become scared of its own shadow and that can't be a good thing for London."
Joe McDonnell joins as head of portfolio solutions (EMEA)
Fidelity Multi Asset CIO's outlook
Willis Owen report
From 1 March
More than 16,100 clients compensated