A report from Policy Exchange seeks to respond to public anger at the failure of the authorities to convict more people of financial fraud. PX estimates that financial fraud costs more than £30bn a year.
It recommends that the existing disparate agencies – (Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority, two divisions of the Crown Prosecution Service (Fraud Protection Service and Revenue and Customs Division) and the Office of Fair Trading – be combined into one single Financial Crimes Enforcement Agency.
Jonathan Fisher QC, author of the report, commented:
“The plethora of agencies involved in tackling fraud in the City has created overlapping layers of responsibility for investigation and prosecution and a wasteful duplication of manpower and specialist resources. The Government has simply picked the wrong model for the successful investigation and prosecution of financial markets crimes. Over twenty-five years ago the Roskill Report recommended a unified agency, made up of individuals with the numerous professional skills needed in investigating and prosecuting complex cases. This is exactly the structure we should be moving to now.”
A full PDF of the report – that recommends new powers to penalise the employers of convicted fraudsters – is here.