FSA trumpets £8m fines and criminal convictions

MORE than £8 million of fines for market abuse and five criminal convictions for insider dealing showed the "credible deterrence" of the Financial Services Authority, the regulator claimed yesterday.

The FSA said sentences for the insider trading offences had ranged from 12 months to three years and four months, while 15 penalties levied for financial markets abuse totalled 8.3m in the year to the end of March.

A total of 13 others were awaiting trial for insider dealing offences with trial dates set for between next November and April 2012, the authority revealed as it published its annual report.

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This compared with two insider dealing prosecutions and 7.3m of penalties levied in the previous year. Hector Sants, chief executive of the FSA, said: "Our principal focus has been on maintaining the high level of supervisory activity required to ensure the stability of firms in the system.

"In addition, we made considerable progress in advancing our new proactive approach to consumer protection while undertaking the necessary work to prepare for the regulatory reforms."

By late 2012, early 2013, the FSA's regulatory powers will transfer to the Bank of England, when a new Prudential Regulatory Authority will oversee individual banks and insurers, and a new Financial Conduct Authority will regulate markets and fight financial crime.

The FSA's annual report disclosed that chief executive Sants's total remuneration, including bonuses, rose in the year to 806,810 from 773,067. Chairman Lord Turner's salary and other benefits lifted to 500,276 from 488,557.