Alistair Darling is to give Britain's financial watchdog new powers to clean up the City by adopting a US-style whistle-blower system that will grant immunity from prosecution in return for evidence about market manipulation, The Guardian reports.
Alarmed by the illegal raid that drove down the share price of HBOS last week, the chancellor will outline plans for new legislation over the next few months that will give the Financial Services Authority plea bargaining powers already granted to tax officials, the Serious Fraud Office and the director of public prosecutions.
In an interview with the Guardian, Darling said: "I can't allow us to get into a situation where people quite deliberately manipulate markets for personal gain and with the potential to destabilise the financial system."
He added: "We have a duty to ensure we have clean and efficient markets. We will come down hard on people manipulating the system."
A FULL-BLOWN recession on these shores is now a 35% probability as the credit crunch engulfs Britain's housing market and broader economy, warns an authoritative report, according to The Telegraph.
The Bank of England may be forced copy the Federal Reserve's lead and make dramatic interest rate cuts as Britain falls victim to a US-style slump, say experts at Lehman Brothers.
Downward Spiral, a lengthy report on the UK economy by the investment bank, said the prospects look particularly bleak for the next two years - and perhaps beyond. It also cautions that house prices will fall by 8% over the next two years.
The warning, which coincides with signs the credit crunch in the financial markets is having a marked impact on families' finances, is the most bearish yet from a major UK forecaster.
HOUSE PRICES ARE rising at the slowest rate for 12 years in a blow that could force the Bank of England to bring forward an interest rate cut to April, Britain’s second biggest mortgage lender said today, The Times reports.
Figures from the Nationwide showed that the price of a typical house dropped 0.6 per cent - or nearly £250 - in March to an average of £179,100.
The drop means the annual rate of house price inflation is now 1.1 per cent - the lowest since March 1996.
Fionnuala Earley, group economist at Nationwide, said it was clear there was now a “sharp slowdown” in house prices.
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Senior Managers Regime
Interest rate outlook unchaged
FCA made demands last week
'Unsung' part of FSCS work