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Regulators are hiring experts, and working together around the globe

The SEC increased its headcount by 22 percent and spending by 62 percent since 2006. The increases are part of a global trend as agencies worldwide coordinate their scrutiny over regulated entities.

The report by Kinetic Partners, titled Global Enforcement Review: 2014, compared regulatory enforcement trends in the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong. 

The authors said regulators concentrated on hiring experienced and specialized personnel with advanced forensic and technological skills, along with former traders.

The regulators also invested in IT-based surveillance systems to better keep up with the industries they oversee.

The report’s authors highlighted the increased global coordination by regulators and their more successful enforcement actions. 

In the United States, while the number of new investigations remained relatively consistent over the last five years, the SEC closed 65 percent more investigations since 2009. 

The average size of each penalty imposed by the SEC increased by about 36 percent between 2008, and 2013. 

At the Financial Conduct Authority (and its predecessor) in the UK, about 12 percent fewer cases were opened each year since March 31, 2008, and the number of cases closed each year decreased by about 10 percent per year.

The value of penalties imposed in the UK increased from an average of $750,000 in 2008 and 2009 to $2.06 million by the end of 2012.

In Hong Kong, the Securities and Futures Commission launched an average of nine percent more investigations a year from 2008, to 2013. It closed investigations at an increased average rate of about 14 percent annually.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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