ERS of the European Parliament voted yesterday in favour of new rules that could see financial market fraudsters punished with prison sentences.
The move comes amid accusations of Libor-fixing at several more global banks, with Brussels pledging to clamp down on financial misconduct.
MEPs voted by 39 votes to zero to continue European Commission provisions made at the end of July, when commissioner Michel Barnier announced his intention for pan-European criminalisation of market abuse.
Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy, deputy chair of the economic and monetary affairs committee, is pushing for the changes.
“The EU cannot be seen to be the soft option or a safe haven for perpetrators of market abuse,” she said. “That is why for the first time we are introducing EU-wide criminal sanctions.”
McCarthy cited US laws that already allow for the criminal prosecutions and imprisonment.