The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it will step up its game in tackling financial crime and make increasing use of its newly gained enforcement powers.
Speaking at the FCA's Financial Crime Conference today, FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said the regulator would be looking more rigorously at tracking down offenders as well as stepping up its prevention efforts.
He said new technology such as high-frequency trading had evolved fraud and amplified its effects, which was "an enormously serious issue".
"Money laundering and corruption on one side of the planet can fuel crime on the other in a finger snap. Pension pots can fall and mortgages rise in seconds on the manipulation of benchmarks like LIBOR.
"Increasingly high-tech Ponzi schemes now cross borders and time zones, collecting millions of victims along the way," he said.
"As we move forward, we need to remain alert. We need to be aware of how financial crime waxes and wanes through economic cycles, and remain sensitive to emergent risks."
The regulator would be looking more actively at trends, innovations and data to analyse the market, Wheatley said.
It would also make increasing use of it new enforcement powers.
"The FCA has a new style of regulation - with new powers and a new philosophy to be forward looking and forward thinking."
Last year the FCA handed out £312m in fines, more than triple the previous high number of £89m.
Between 2010 and 2012, it withdrew 67 applications for approval to senior bank executives compared to just 21 in preceding years.
The FCA said it received more than 4,500 reports a year relating to fraud which cost the consumer on average £1m a month.
It is particularly concerned about pension liberation fraud, inheritance fraud, rare earth metals, diamonds, carbon credits and fraud relating to overseas land and property.
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