FIN-FSA denies police suspicions of white-collar crimes being allowed to slide
Director General Anneli Tuominen says supervision is conducted in a responsible manner
Director General Anneli Tuominen of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) affirms that the agency takes its job as an investigator of wrongdoings “extremely seriously”.
“In my opinion we also conduct our work in a very professional manner”, Tuominen says.
FIN-FSA was targeted with heavy criticism yesterday when two authorities acting to prevent white-collar crime presented their views on the agency’s activities.
Inspector Matti Rinne of the National Police Board said he was extremely worried as to what kind of an establishment FIN-FSA really is.
Janne Marttinen, head of the authorities' cooperation development project VIRKE, was in turn worried about the exchange of information between FIN-FSA and the Finnish Tax Administration.
“It cannot be that last year FIN-FSA did not file one single report of an offence. It is utterly impossible that there were not insider trading dealings of any kind last year”, Rinne charged in Helsingin Sanomat.
Rinne was referring to the fact that in 2009 FIN-FSA did not file one single report of an offence with the police regarding stock exchange crimes, even though its predecessor RATA used to file an average of 4-5 reports on such matters per year.
“There have not been requests for an investigation submitted to the police, but internally we examined 74 cases, which is a lot”, Tuominen says.
Rinne suspected that in its investigations FIN-FSA encounters “fat cats”, whose toes it does not dare to step on.
“We review all the cases completely objectively and clinically. It makes no difference who or what the target of the investigation is”, Tuominen responds.
In Tuominen’s view, FIN-FSA’s work has become more difficult for example because the use of intermediaries and outright insider rings from abroad has increased.
In Finland, on the other hand, the insider rings have learned from past experiences.
“The previously uncovered cases have clearly had a preventive effect in Finland.”
FIN-FSA has also been granted investigative powers of its own, plus the right to hand down administrative sanctions such as public warnings.
According to Tuominen this may have “marginally” reduced the number of cases ending up with the police.
FIN-FSA conducts its own investigation first, after which the organisation’s management team decides on referring the case to the police.
“Ultimately I am the decision-maker in the management group”, Tuominen says.
In other words, the police or any other outsider does not normally have a say in the matter.
Tuominen says that every single case that fulfils the criteria of “reason to suspect a crime” that is mentioned in the law on preliminary investigation will be referred to the police.
According to the government act, now a couple of decades old, “there is reason to suspect a crime, if a person after having carefully deliberated the circumstances reaches such a decision based on his or her findings”.
FIN-FSA Financial Supervisory Authority