Outgoing chief executive Hector Sants says the FSA is now a "different and improved regulator" after "radically changing" the way it operates.
In his statement in the FSA's annual report 2009/10, published today, Sants says the City watchdog has moved from a philosophy "often characterised" as 'light-touch' to a new outcomes-focused approach delivered through "intense" supervision.
He says this new approach means the FSA can intervene in a "proactive" way and has led it to issue a total of 46 fines in the last financial year worth a total of more than £33m.
Sants adds sustained investment over the last three years has resulted in "major successes" through a more aggressive focus on "credible deterrence" and pursuit of market abuses.
Between April last year and 31 March 2010, three individuals have been convicted and received custodial sentences of between 12 and 24 months for insider dealing.
"I believe the FSA is now a different and improved regulator both in respect of its philosophy and its ability to deliver that philosophy," says Sants.
"It has demonstrated the characteristics that are essential to a successful regulator and proved to be an organisation capable of learning and adapting to an uncertain world."
Sants says of 35 milestones set out in its 2009/10 business plan, it achieved 31, or 91%.
He points to the roll-out of the FSA's reform programme - which he said has "radically changed" the regulator's philosophy - as a stand-out achievement.
The main features of the programme include the hiring of 537 additional staff, introduction of new local rules for liquidity and taking forward a global agenda for reform of capital rules.
Sants also highlighted the new consumer protection strategy focusing on earlier intervention and a more effective regime to secure redress, pointing to the mortgage market review - with its stronger emphasis on affordability assessments - as an illustration of the changed strategy.
Third completed acquisition of 2018
March sales figures revealed
Three big drivers
No easy answers
Whatever the weather