Margaret Cole, the U.K. Financial Services Authority’s head of enforcement, said her division should become part of the proposed Consumer Protection and Markets Agency when the current regulator is abolished.
The U.K. government plans to abolish the FSA by 2012 to create the CPMA and a Prudential Regulatory Authority at the Bank of England to oversee financial regulation. The FSA’s enforcement unit is slated to become part of a planned economic crime agency, a move the regulator is lobbying against.
The FSA will split into two “shadow” divisions to prepare for the structural changes before it is abolished in 2012. The “vast majority” of the regulator’s enforcement work will stay with the CPMA, Cole said in a speech today.
The new agency “must maintain a strong and effective enforcement function with the full range of powers,” Cole said. “We agree that there needs to be substantial improvement to the way the U.K. approaches the investigation and prosecution of white collar fraud. But we do believe there is a place for specialist prosecutors -- or specialist regulators for whom criminal prosecution powers are an essential part of the toolkit to achieve their objectives.”