FSA: Credit crisis no excuse for non-compliance

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LONDON – Chief executive of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) Hector Sants says the current financial market turmoil is no excuse for the industry to shirk its regulatory compliance responsibilities.

Speaking to industry representatives at the regulator’s annual asset management conference, Sants said: “While I acknowledge the current environment is causing many firms to look at cost controls, management needs to carefully consider any headcount reduction exercise that could compromise essential functions, especially those in roles such as operations, risk and compliance.”

Sants also pledged to continue the FSA’s crackdown on instances of market abuse, after a number of insider-trading cases and an investigation into the role of market rumours in reducing UK bank HBOS’s share price. HBOS announced today that it is to be taken over by rival Lloyds TSB.

“We will continue to use all the powers at our disposal – civil, criminal and administrative – to combat market abuse and insider dealing. This is part of a concerted effort to ensure all market participants take this issue seriously. This year we have brought three criminal prosecutions for insider dealing, and anticipate there will be more to come,” said Sants.

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