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FSA Set to Get Power to Grant Criminal Immunity

Global Glimpses | January 15, 2009

The U.K. government has published draft legislation that would give the Financial Services Authority powers to grant immunity when investigating criminal cases, such as insider dealing.

Currently the regulator can only offer plea bargains rather than immunity, and only then in civil cases, not criminal ones. The FSA has been calling for the power to grant immunity since at least 2007, when its then chief executive John Tiner said it would help the regulator tackle insider dealing.

The regulator has found it hard to get to grips with insider trading. Its latest data on what it calls “market cleanliness” showed that nearly a third of all merger and acquisition announcements is accompanied by “informed price movements,” which suggests people have...

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