The Tories say the new body would toughen up the Government’s stance on white collar crime.
The ECA would take over the powers and responsibilities held by the SFO, FSA, Fraud Prosecution Service, the Revenue & Customs division and the OFT.
Under the Tory proposals companies would be made liable for the actions of rogue traders and fraudsters working within the firm. At present, companies can claim innocence of crimes perpetrated by employees.
The Conservatives have already pledged to scrap the FSA, should they gain power, and replace it with a Consumer Protection Agency to regulate IFAs with prudential regulation passed to the Bank of England.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne (pictured) told The Sunday Telegraph: “We are very, very bad at prosecuting white-collar crime. We have six different government departments, eight different agencies a complete alphabet soup and the result is that these crimes go unpunished. There is £30bn worth of fraud taking place in the British economy each year.”
“Frankly, robbing someone of their pension through some con is almost as bad as mugging them in the street. But because it’s a crime that takes place behind a computer screen, or at the end of a telephone, it doesn’t get followed up and prosecuted.”
The Tories plan to concentrate on economic issues this week, ahead of the third and final leaders’ debate on Thursday evening where the debate will focus on economic issues.