The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will not be part of the government's planned National Crime Agency (NCA), according to reports, in a further setback for the new body.
The OFT, which regulates debt companies among other firms, will retain its powers of criminal prosecution rather than see them absorbed within the NCA, according to the Telegraph.
The reversal is the latest in a series of changes to coalition plans to centralise crime-fighting agencies.
Originally the plan, supported by Chancellor George Osborne, was to create a dedicated Economic Crime Agency taking in the OFT, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and parts of the FSA.
In recent months control of the project has switched from the Treasury to the Home Office which now plans to create a much larger National Crime Agency including the components of the Economic Crime Agency.
However the FSA has already won its battle to retain its investigation and prosecution powers.
The OFT now looks set to join the FSA, outside the remit of the NCA, throwing more doubt on the coherence of the government's strategy in fighting economic crime.
Questions are also starting to be asked about the wisdom of including the SFO in the NCA when none of the other economic crime agencies, the OFT and FSA, are likely to be part of this group.
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