EU calls for criminal penalties for insider trading
(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission wants all EU states to impose criminal sanctions for the most serious acts of financial malfeasance such as insider trading and market manipulation, EU officials said Monday.
Several European Union states already punish such crimes with fines or prison time, but the commission wants every country to impose penalties, the officials said.
At the moment, Austria, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland and Slovenia do not impose criminal sanctions for both insider trading and market manipulation, or punish only one of the two crimes.
"Some of the behaviour you have seen in the financial sector was completely irresponsible, sometimes ... of criminal nature," European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso told a news conference after talks with business and union leaders.
An EU official said on condition of anonymity that the commission will propose a directive on Thursday "asking national legislators to have criminal penalties for insider trading and market manipulation."
But it will be up to individual governments to decide severity of the punishments, the official said.
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