Belfast Telegraph

Financial watchdog prepares to bare teeth

By Holly Williams

The City regulator has revealed it will hire an extra 460 staff to toughen up supervision of the financial sector.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said annual staff costs will rise by a further £47.7m to £350m as it beefs up its workforce by around 14% this year.

The watchdog said it needed more and better staff to help it beef up its efforts on regulation, reflecting a more “confrontational” approach outlined in its business plan for the year ahead.

It is recruiting with immediate effect and will take on new office space in London’s Canary Wharf district to house the additional staff, despite uncertainty over the future of the FSA following the General Election.

FSA chief executive Hector Sants said: “This proactive approach to supervision requires significantly more people than the old reactive model and those individuals must be of a higher quality and supported by more sophisticated systems.”

The watchdog is to take |on another 100 staff in enforcement, which will add to an existing workforce of some 500 people. It is also recruiting another 260 supervisory workers and around 100 to deal with new European Union insurance rules.

The FSA will take more action to tackle insider dealing after Mr Sants admitted this week that market abuse was at an “unacceptably high level”.

It has already succeeded in three insider dealing prosecutions in the last year, the most high profile recently resulting in a 21-month jail term for Malcolm Calvert, a former head of market-making at Cazenove.

Belfast Telegraph