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MM Leader: Who gets the crime job?

The Home Office and the Treasury appear locked in a tussle over who will take on responsibility for criminal enforcement powers under the new regulatory structure.

Documents leaked to The Times suggest the Home Office is considering moving responsibility for pursuing financial crime to the new National Crime Agency.

The Treasury intends to transfer the FSA’s criminal enforcement powers to the Financial Conduct Authority after delaying plans to create a new Economic Crime Agency.

Due to the under-the-bonnet nature of much financial crime, it is hard to judge how successful the FSA has been in this area.

However, the issue has certainly climbed up the agenda due to the influence of Margaret Cole, in her role of director of enforcement and financial crime, and the regulator has brought forward a number of insider dealing and market abuse cases.

There is a danger that moving enforcement responsibilities to the NCA would dilute the power of those seeking to crackdown on financial crime and see issues such as insider dealing de-prioritised due to a heavier focus on other criminal activities.

A taxpayer-funded NCA may also be given less resources to tackle financial crime. Some in the industry may be happy that this move could lead to lower regulatory costs but it is in no one’s interests for the UK to be seen as a soft touch on financial crime.

AV after effects

The result of this week’s alternative vote referendum is likely to have a profound effect on the future of the coalition Government.

A win for the no camp is likely to lead many LibDems to question what they are getting out of the coalition. This could mean further concessions are sought by senior LibDems on issues such as banking reform. The incendiary nature of the personal attacks between Conservatives and LibDems have raised question marks about the future of the coalition.

With Parliament due to debate the radical reform of financial services regulation proposed by the Government, and the Labour party a strong critic of many of its proposals, the AV vote may well also have a profound effect on the future shape of the industry.


L&G prospects for gold in equities

Legal & General’s multi-manager team is investing in gold and energy through equities because it is cheaper than direct exposure to the underlying assets. The firm recently trimmed US exposure in its portfolios to increase allocation to gold equities and energy equities. It says this was not due to a big regional call on the […]


PPI claims on banks could hit £10bn

The banks involved in the mis-selling of payment protection insurance could face as much as £10bn in claims, according to some City analysts. According to the Telegraph, it says that some bankers think the number could be far higher than the £4.2bn originally estimated by the FSA and could be closer to the £10bn mark. […]

MPs call for Rock to be remutualised

Over 100 MPs have signed an early day motion calling for Nor-thern Rock to be remutualised. The motion, tabled by Labour MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna, argues that a thriving mutual sector adds to the diversity and strength of the UK’s financial system. It calls on the Government to force UK Financial Investments, the body […]


Editor’s View

As chairman of the Treasury select committee, John McFall was charged with holding the previous Government, regulators and the industry to account.


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