The Financial Times published a study on April 22 which confirmed the findings of earlier work by the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) that there had been possible insider trading ahead of a takeover announcement in almost one in four cases in 2005 (FSA study published on March 7 and reported in the March 9 CFWD).

In response to questioning by the Financial Times, Margaret Cole, FSA’s Director Enforcement, confirmed that the FSA was considering with the UK Treasury the introduction of immunity from prosecution and plea-bargaining in insider dealing market abuse cases. Ms. Cole said, “In the past, the idea of the plea bargain in this country has been looked at with disdain. But we have been studying the US experience and are now seriously looking at whether we can introduce a form of plea bargaining which can be hugely advantageous.” This would represent a major change of approach by the UK regulator and future developments are awaited with interest.