UK market abuse “unacceptably high”, says financial watchdog chief

Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has said that market abuse

Although he said that there was no evidence abuse was worse in the UK than in other major financial centres, he called for more action in tackling the problems of insider dealing and other examples of malpractice.

"Our benchmark should seek to have a market that participants really believe to be clean and fair," Mr Sants told the Sunday Telegraph. "I think that if you were to ask the market participants, they would share my view that there is too much market abuse," the former investment banker added.

The FSA is set to increase its workforce with an extra 460 members of staff, taking the total number to 3,700. The increase in employees, whose roles are expected to be elaborated on in an FSA strategy paper later this week, underlines the more proactive role the organization wishes to play in regulating the UK financial services industry.

Last week it announced the successful prosecution of a former employee at stockbroker Cazenove who was found guilty of insider dealing. An investment banker and his wife were today charged with insider dealing with the FSA currently seeking the extradition of a third suspect in theFrench overseas territory of Mayotte.