§ Mr. John Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any plans to increase the resources available for the investigation of insider dealing; and if he proposes any structural changes within his Department to increase its effectiveness in this area.
§ Mr. Redwood
Inspectors appointed under section 177 of the Financial Services Act 1986 to investigate possible insider dealing offences have normally been from outside my Department. However, members of the companies170W investigations branches of the Department have been appointed in two recent cases, and my right hon. Friend will continue to make such appointments in appropriate cases. Responsibility within the investigations division of my Department for appointment of and liaison with section 177 inspectors has recently been brought under the inspector of companies. I shall continue to keep the organisation of the work under review with a view to ensuring efficient operation.
The Companies Act 1989 contains provisions enabling the Secretary of State to consent to the bringing of prosecutions, for example by the stock exchange, for insider dealing offences; and also to enable him to investigate on behalf of overseas regulators. These provisions came into force on 21 February.