Europe has been at the forefront regarding crypto assets regulation with its recently voted Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, which is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2023.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released a press release stating that three individuals were charged for illegally communicating non-public and material information and using such information to buy shares in a company. The investigation was jointly conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) 's 2021-22 Business Plan was published on 15 July 2021 and it sends an important message for firms and the market of the FCA going forward approach to enforcement actions.
It is clear that the FCA intends to be more aggressive and take an increasingly assertive approach in its enforcement activity in the coming year and innovate to tackle challenges yet to come in the future.
During 2020, many factors have shaped the regulations and enforcement actions to maintain market integrity and place the interests of clients ahead of firms and individuals. In addition to the challenges faced by compliance and risk departments, the number of people trading worldwide has risen, pressuring regulators and compliance departments to quickly act to monitor conflicts of interest and prevent individuals from taking market advantage.
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.