The FSA is hosting the world's first international conference on preventing boiler room fraud.
UK consumers lose around £300m each year through the scams, and the FSA hopes greater international cooperation can reduce the risks to the public.
The conference, taking place today and tomorrow at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London, brings together representatives from almost 20 countries, including the US, Spain and Germany, to formulate a global response to the problem.
Speaking at today’s conference, Margaret Cole, director of enforcement at the FSA, says: “The FSA’s investigations into boiler room activity are showing us just how international the crime is.
“A firm might be operating out of one country, targeting people in another. But when we follow the trail of the victims’ money, we often find a complex web that may take in a further five or six jurisdictions spanning three or four continents.”
Around 30,000 people in the UK are victims of boiler rooms every year, the FSA says, with total fraud worth around £300m.
Often boiler rooms will be based overseas, usually in Spain, Hong Kong or North America, but their victims are usually residents of the UK, Germany, United States and Scandinavia. The FSA says a global solution is needed to deal with a global, cross-border crime.
The FSA has already launched several initiatives to tackle boiler room crime, including urging listed companies to inform their shareholders of the dangers of the scams, working with stock brokers to increase awareness, and increasing the information available through the FSA’s consumer website.
Seven entities have had action taken against them by the regulator for acting as or assisting boiler room scams and it has returned around £1m to UK investors.
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