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Opinion

Watch out FICC, the FCA has something in STOR for you

The UK regulator thinks that bond markets could step up their approach to reporting market abuse

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Imagine for a moment that equity-insider-dealing-related Suspicious Transactions and Orders (STORs) accounted for, say, 70% of all STORs reported to UK regulators. It’s a useful number because it’s the real one.

There are a couple of conclusions you could draw from it. One would be that equity-related-insider-dealing happens a lot more than equity-related-market-manipulation, which is another and perhaps even more exciting kind of STOR.

Another would be that there are many, many more wrong ’uns in the equity market than there are in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC), whose STOR count is a tiny fraction of the total.

Julia_Hoggett_160x186

Julia Hoggett, FCA 

But then this: $10 billion of FX-rigging fines, $9 billion of Libor-related fines. You get the point. Which leads to another shocking conclusion: FICC businesses are just not very good at monitoring themselves. Or not very good at spotting potential abuse. Or something else. Hmm.

Whatever, UK regulators think something’s up, and they’re putting the industry on notice. Ex-banker Julia Hoggett is the newish director of market oversight at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and in a speech in London on Tuesday she set out the case for the prosecution – albeit in regulator-speak.


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