Danny McCance 14 Mar 2018 10:37am

SFO in talks over its funding

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is in discussion with the Treasury over how it will be funded in the future

The UK financial watchdog currently maintains an annual budget of £31m and can request extra funding from the Treasury for big cases, according to the BBC.

"We are in discussion at the moment over whether the relationship between the basic and blockbuster funding is the right one, but that is a matter for the Treasury,” the SFO’s director-general, David Green told the BBC.

However, he defended the current arrangement, highlighting that he has never had any trouble receiving funding and would “never not pursue a case that we though worthy of investigation because of lack of funding”.

David Green, who took charge of SFO in 2012, has overseen many high profile cases such as the watchdog’s largest ever investigation of Rolls-Royce, the case against senior executives at Tesco and the five-year investigation into Barclays, which all took place last year.

He was also responsible for negotiating the 2014 £1.5m settlement with property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz following the botched investigation by the SFO.

Prime minister Theresa May wanted to abolish the independent SFO by incorporating it into the National Crime Agency last year, but scrapped the manifesto pledge after losing a majority in the General Election. May, in her previous role as home secretary, also attempted to shutter the SFO twice before.