Page last updated at 20:32 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

UK financial regulators bare their teeth

Pound notes and coins

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) have in recent weeks come down hard on corporate corruption, insider-dealing and other offences or crimes committed in the world of business and finance.

Hector Sants
People should be very frightened of the FSA
Hector Sants, chief executive, FSA

Raids on top banks and a big hedge fund this week was the latest instalment in these efforts.

It was the fifth time in the past two years that arrests have been made in connection with insider dealing allegations.

  • 23-26 March 2010: Deutsche Bank, the leading German bank, the French giant BNP Paribas and hedge fund Moore Capital are now known to have workers caught up in an FSA probe. Their employees are among seven so far arrested under suspicion of taking part in a long-running insider dealing scheme.
  • Ongoing: The FSA is prosecuting three other insider dealing cases: Andrew King, Andrew Rimmington and Michael McFall (trial date 19 April); Christian and Angie Littlewood; and Neil Rollins.
  • March 2010: Malcolm Calvert, a retired stockbroker who was a partner of Cazenove, was jailed for 21 months after being found guilty of insider dealing.
  • November 2009: Father and son Neel and Matthew Uberoi were found guilty of 12 counts of insider dealing.
  • March 2009: Christopher McQuoid who was general council at TTP Communications, and his father-in-law James Melbourne, were found guilty of insider dealing. McQuoid passed on information about a takeover of his firm by Motorola to Melbourne.
  • March 2009: The FSA's chief executive Hector Sants issued a warning: "There is a view that people are not frightened of the FSA. I can assure you that this is a view I am determined to correct. People should be very frightened of the FSA."
  • 2008: The FSA sought jail sentences and tougher fines for insider trading offences after criticism that it was failing in its efforts to prevent this crime.
  • In 2001 the FSA was granted the power to prosecute insider trading cases under criminal law. It took over this mandate from the Department of Trade and Industry. It was not until 2008 that it brought its first case to court, and secured its first guilty verdict in 2009.

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