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Business Comment

James Moore: Expensive mistakes by the City watchdog

Outlook Well at least the £6m blown by City regulators on the failed prosecution of three former iSoft directors wasn't public money. The Financial Services Authority, and successor the Financial Conduct Authority, are funded by the City.

As City firms are more than happy to pay quite unjustifiable rewards (there are plenty of executives who make more than £6m in a year from share-based incentives alone) they can bear the cost. It's still an embarrassment for the watchdogs, and one they should keep at the front of their minds. The first trial saw a hung jury, and that happens, but the second collapsed as a result of procedural problems. That's much harder to forgive.

The regulator must spend what it takes when it comes to investigations. But when it does spend, its credibility requires that avoidable mistakes are kept to a minimum.