The UK’s financial watchdog achieved just two successful convictions against individuals for insider trading over the past five years, according to The Times.
New data recovered from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) via a freedom of information (FoI) request shows the watchdog secured just two successful convictions in the five years running from 2017 to 2021, compared to 20 successful convictions from 2012 to 2016.
The investigation showed that just two people – UBS banker Fabiana Abdel-Malek and her day trader friend Walid Choucair – have been convicted for insider trading over the past half a decade, after they were jailed in 2019.
The drop in successful convictions comes in spite of the fact that the number of FCA investigations into insider trading increased by 75 per cent, from 134 in 2012-16 to 235 from 2017-21.
At the same time, research shows that up to one-fifth of takeover deals are subject to abnormal market movements before details are made public.
The fall also comes as the number of whistle-blower reports filed to the FCA increased 82 per cent, from 57 to 104, as the number of full-time investigators working on insider trading cases also dropped to its lowest levels in a decade.
By comparison, the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) initiates around 8,000 convictions for benefits fraud each year.