UK watchdog The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is to establish a new financial crime and intelligence division that will examine and investigate the risks facing consumers from information security and hi-tech crime.
The unit is led by director Philip Robinson and has brought together all of the financial crime expertise that was previously spread across the regulatory body.
The division will work closely with law enforcement and other regulators to identify, assess and manage criminal threats in the UK's financial sector.
The FSA is concerned with three broad areas in financial crime - fraud, money laundering and market abuse. The regulator says its new unit will aim to gain a better understanding of the scale, incidence and impact of financial crime, target poor performing firms and sectors and encourage risk-based implementation of financial crime policy internationally and domestically.
Amongst the tasks facing the new division will be examining the increasing risks facing concumers from ID security andd cyber crime. This includes the potential for low-tech breaches of security, such as the careless disposal of sensitive data.
FSA CEO John Tiner says the new unit will provide the leadership, tools and expertise needed to meet the increased challenges ahead and maintain the integrity of the UK's financial sector.
"All of us involved in the fight against financial crime have to recognise that risks in this area inevitably evolve quickly and our responses have to match them," says Tiner. "This is a continuing challenge: as we react to the most recent attacks, so the criminals move onto new ways of achieving their objectives. We have to keep raising our game and the FSA is responding to this by creating the financial crime and intelligence division."
Staff at the division will also work with economic experts from inside and outside the FSA in an effort to get a handle on the real scale of the problem posed by financial crime.