White-collar crime is a real worry for executives and finance professionals in the US, and it is fair to say that the situation is not quite the same on this side of the Atlantic.

Insider trading has been an offence in the UK since 1980 and market abuse since 2000. Both can attract civil penalties as well as criminal punishment. While the late 1980s saw the Guinness and Blue Arrow trials, subsequent City of London scandals provoked lawsuits and lost jobs. They did not provoke arrests.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and its predecessor did not mount any prosecutions for insider dealing, preferring civil and regulatory sanctions. That ended with the 2008 crash.

Since then there have been signs that the political climate has changed. Certainly the bailout of the banks - and the drip of further scandals such as that over Libor rigging - led to political pressure to investigate insider trading and market abuse.

Indeed, since 2008, the FCA has secured 28 convictions for insider dealing, with Damian Clarke formerly of Schroders being the latest. He pleaded guilty in March and faces sentencing next month.

This is still a trickle rather than a flood - the wholesale manipulation of the Libor markets has led to just a single conviction - but there are signs that the screws are to tighten further on the City's bad apples.

Regulators are also being given more tools to do their jobs. The Financial Services Act 2012, passed in the wake of the Libor scandal, creates an offence of making false or misleading statements in benchmark setting. Brussels adds to this with the Market Abuse Regulation, coming into force in July, which expands the scope of market manipulation beyond securities traded on a regulated market and seeks to prohibit abusive algorithmic trading.

It is also fair to say that continuing economic uncertainty is creating a climate in which more people are likely to be tempted to cross the line. With interest rates showing no sign of rising from a historic low and economic growth still stagnant, financiers have to work harder and take more risks to make their margins.

For some, this means aggressive trading and explaining to clients that higher risks need to be run to obtain a return that would previously have been considered normal.

However, for others it can mean crossing the line entirely.

It is a fair prediction that the next few years will bring more City-based insider dealing and market manipulation scandals. While bringing more work for lawyers, the real issue is that market abuse and insider trading can end people's careers and businesses and ruin their families. Regulators are taking the issue increasingly seriously when traders fall foul of the rules.

This article was first published by The Brief.