FSA 'spent £15m on Sabre II'

5 January 2011

British banking industry watchdog the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has forked out millions of pounds on its new market abuse detection system, but the mechanism has only secured seven convictions so far.

According to Citywire, a Freedom of Information Act request made by New Model Adviser revealed that £15 million ($23.4 million) was spent on Surveillance Analysis of Business Reporting (Sabre) II in 2007, but has since uncovered only a handful of insider traders.

"Our aim in developing Sabre II has also been to significantly improve our ability to extract and analyse transaction data to help detect and analyse possible insider dealing/market abuse," the FSA stated.

Sabre II's first success came with the conviction of solicitor Christopher McQuoid and his father-in-law James Melbourne in 2009 and action has also been taken against a further five traders in a string of other cases.

Last week, the FSA revealed that it handed out fines of around £89 million in 2010, a new record for the organisation ahead of its impending break-up.

By Asim Shah

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