ESMA Reports Increase in EU Market Abuse Penalties

ESMA published its annual report on December 21, summarising administrative and criminal sanctions and other measures imposed under the Market Abuse Regulation in 2019. A sum of 279 administrative sanctions and measures and 60 criminal sanctions were imposed for infringements of MAR in 2019. The total value of the penalties exceeds €88 million.

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2020: A Great Year of Webinars

2020 was a different year, but some things never change. MCO once again hosted several webinars to update compliance and risk professionals on the latest regulations, enforcements and industry best practices. Here are some of the highlights of what we learned from our expert speakers in 2020.

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FCA: Market Conduct and Transaction Reporting Issues

The most recent FCA  newsletter on market conduct and transaction reporting issues, Market Watch 65, covers how the inappropriate handling of information requirements can compromise market abuse investigations. In addition, the document highlights data quality issues found on transaction reporting under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation.

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MNPI Remains a High Risk Area for Compliance

Failing to adequately manage Material Non-Public Information (MNPI) remains a high risk area for compliance, as evidenced by recent actions in the U.S. and the U.K. A private equity firm paid $1 million to settle SEC charges for failing to implement effective Insider Trading compliance policies. The FCA published a Decision Notice fining a former CEO £658,900 for market abuse and banning him from future roles linked to regulated activity.

To avoid hefty fines and actions, firms must have comprehensive and actionable policies and procedures around the management of MNPI and insider lists to minimize risk.

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FCA Consults on Extending SMCR Deadlines

The FCA is consulting on extending the deadlines for the SMCR for solo-regulated firms until 31 March 2021. This delay will give firms, significantly affected by the Covid-19, time to make the changes they need. 

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