Insider trading bounty hunter promoted to the board of FSA

MARGARET COLE staked her claim to a top job when City regulation is passed to the Bank of England by joining the board of the Financial Services Authority yesterday.

The enforcement chief, who is described as “tough as old boots” by former private sector colleagues, becomes managing director of financial crime. She joins chairman Adair Turner and chief executive Hector Sants on the FSA’s 16-strong board.

Cole has been closely associated with the watchdog’s tougher stance on insider trading, claiming the highest-profile scalp in its history with the jailing of former Cazenove partner Malcolm Calvert in March. Shortly after, she said: “People should be afraid of the FSA. We mean what we say and we mean business.”

Bosses at the regulator decided to reward Cole’s efforts amid a spate of impending defections from senior figures such as Jon Pain and Sally Dewar. Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to roll supervisory duties into the Bank of England have spooked some staff.

Simon Morris at CMS Cameron McKenna said: “This is Margaret Cole nailing her colours to the FSA mast and laying claim to a prominent role on one of the new regulatory bodies.”