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FSA keeps crimefighter role

Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban has clarified that criminal powers to investigate white collar crime will stay with the FSA and later the Financial Conduct Authority, rather than be transferred to a new body.

The Treasury said last July it would consider transferring responsibility for prosecuting offences such as insider dealing to a new Economic Crime Agency, but in February decided to transfer the FSA’s criminal enforcement powers to the new FCA.

Enforcement powers could be transferred to a new Home Office agency called the National Crime Agency, according to documents leaked in May.

But at a Which? Conference on financial services reform in London this week, Hoban said: “We had considered whether the FSA’s prosecution powers should be part of an Economic Crime Agency. When we did some consultation on this one of the challenges we had was the separation of the FSA’s criminal powers from its civil powers. We recognised there is a chance of creating more duplication by separating those powers out, so we are leaving criminal powers with the FSA and the FCA for the moment.”

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  1. Julian Stevensd 5th July 2011 at 9:43 am

    What seems to be happening is an increasing blurring of the lines between the responsibilities of the SFO and those of the FSA, as if the government is happy quietly to allow the latter to take on an ever-increasing proportion of the responsibilities of the former. This suits the goverment nicely, because the SFO is funded by central government, whilst the costs of whatever the FSA decides it wants to do are billed to the FS industry which appears generally to be perceived by the powers that be as an inexhaustible cash cow. We may protest that we are not an inexhaustible cash cow and that we are already buckling as a result of endlessly spiralling demands on our turnover from an unaccountable, inefficient and, as is frequently reported, incompetent regulator ~ but all to no avail. All that Hector Sants does is sit before the TSC and claim that the FSA has no prejudicial agenda against the small IFA. The facts tell us otherwise, Mr Sants ~ your organisation says one thing but does something quite different. Our very livelihoods are at stake, but you just refuse to acknowledge it. We’re expected to do more and more with less and less, whilst the FSA declares it intends to do more and more with more and more of our less and less.

    Now, could you please tell us on just what research have you based your estimate that the RDR (and everything else that you’re doing to us) will result in no more than between 8 and 13% of IFA’s leaving the industry. We have a right to know. Or do we? Some would say the regulator has become so omnipotent that we no longer have any rights at all. Dreadful.

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