FCA criminal probes into insider dealing soar

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The number of criminal investigations into insider dealing opened by the FCA has increased by a massive 175 per cent over the last year.

Data obtained by law firm Pinsent Masons show there were eight insider dealing investigations opened in 2014/15 compared to 22 in 2015/16.

Between 1 April and 31 July this year, 14 cases have been opened. Since April 2013 the FCA has opened 65 criminal investigations specific to insider dealing.

According to the data, there are 54 cases currently open, including some carried over from the FSA.

Four of the investigations have resulted in regulatory sanctions and 10 ended in criminal prosecutions, of which seven were convicted.

Pinsent Masons senior financial services enforcement lawyer Michael Ruck says: “The process to close an investigation is a long one, which is likely why we have seen just 10 investigations completed since 2013, but we are starting to see more action taken.

“The FCA is closely reviewing systems and controls that are in place to identify all forms of market abuse meaning that more suspicious activity is brought to life. This focus has led to a greater increase in the number of investigations into insider dealing.”

In May, Martyn Dodgson, formerly of Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, and Andrew Hind, a qualified chartered accountant, were convicted of insider dealing in the largest-ever investigation of its kind undertaken by the FCA.

Also in May, former Towry adviser Mark Taylor was fined £36,285 by the FCA and banned for at least two years for insider dealing.