Financial market abusers could face a minimum of four years in jail under new plans voted through the European Parliament on Tuesday amid a string of financial scandals.
The European Union (EU) -wide laws will force national governments to impose a minimum of four years jail time for "serious offenses" such as manipulating the Libor benchmark. Judges can up the jail sentence if they see fit.
Among the offenses included in the law are placing an order which gives false or misleading signals about the supply or demand of a financial instrument or providing false or misleading information to manipulate the calculation of benchmarks, such as the Libor or Euribor.
"Criminals who get rich by manipulating markets and insider dealing should not get away with just an administrative penalty," British member of European Parliament (MEP) Arlene McCarthy, said in a press release.