Investigations into approved individuals soared 149% from 61 to 152 following the Financial Conduct Authority's launch of the senior managers regime last year, the regulator's records have shown.
The data, revealed to law firm Allen & Overy following a freedom of information request, showed that investigations into authorised firms rose at half the rate of director-level probes, from 35 to 61.
'The FCA’s data shows a significant increase in the number of investigations opened against individuals whereas those against firms have remained largely static,' wrote the researchers for Allen & Overy's annual directors' liabilities survey, produced with Wills Tower Watson.
'This reflects what the FCA has recently described as its ‘evolving approach’ to investigations.'
That corresponded with the wider direction of corporate regulation, with one in three of the 127 senior risk managers interviewed saying their employer had dealt with a director-level enquiry, up from one on four in the prior year and just one in five 12 months earlier.
'Over the last decade we have witnessed a proliferation of new regulations affecting directors and officers,' wrote authors Joanna Page of A&O and Francis Kean of Wills Tower Watson. 'Today this trend shows no signs of abating.
'The sight of corporate leaders responding in person to challenging questioning in parliamentary inquiries into the behaviour of their business or industries is no longer unusual.'
More than four fifths (82%) said that regulation was a 'significant' risk factor, up from 71% last year.