The Financial Services Authority (FSA), in an attempt to cast off its sleepy old watchdog image, is attempting to look tough by upping the level of its fines.
In a consultation paper it proposes a new tariff system, for rule breaches committed after February 2010. The new tariffs will fine insider dealers a minimum of £100K, and companies could be hit with penalties of up to £50M.
Margaret Cole, the head of enforcement for the FSA, is quoted in The Times:
"By hitting companies and individuals in the pocket where it hurts, the fines will be a stark warning to others on what they can expect to pay for flouting our rules."
All very well, but the FSA will still need to be able to prove misconduct before it can levy these fines.