UK - ABN Amro Equities has been fined nearly £1m for market misconduct and serious compliance failures by the Financial Services Authority.
The regulator fined ABN Amro £900,000 for allowing its traders to accept “improper” instructions from a US client to push up the closing market price of certain stocks – such as Carlton Communications, British Biotech and Volkswagen.
The FSA said this happened on three separate occasions between April and October 1998.
It added that trading in stocks simply to move the market price was a “serious abuse” of power, as it distorted market forces and undermined investors’ confidence in the integrity of the prices quoted on exchanges.
The regulator added that the decision to fine the firm was also because it did not adequately resource its compliance department and failed to have appropriate polices, procedures and training for staff.
FSA managing director Carol Sergeant said: “We view with particular seriousness misconduct that occurs in the context of a firm’s inadequate investment in compliance procedures, policies and training.
“Investors need to be confident that they are dealing in clean and orderly markets.”
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