FCA fines three broker firms £4,775,200 for failures relating to the detection of market abuse

The FCA has fined BGC Brokers LP, GFI Brokers Limited, and GFI Securities Limited (together, BGC/GFI) £4,775,200 for failing to ensure they had appropriate systems and controls in place to effectively detect market abuse.

BGC/GFI failed to properly implement the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) trade surveillance requirements. This meant there was an increased risk that potentially suspicious trading would go undetected.

BGC/GFI are inter-dealer brokers specializing in broking exchange-listed and over-the-counter financial products and related derivative products. It is of fundamental importance to the integrity of the market that brokers such as BGC/GFI have effective market abuse surveillance systems in place.

Between July 2016 and January 2018, BGC/GFI had manual, automatic, and communications surveillance processes that were deficient, and therefore, inadequate in properly addressing the risk of market abuse. Additionally, BGC/GFI’s systems for monitoring market abuse did not have proper coverage of all asset classes which are subject to MAR.

Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, commented:

‘Oversight of our markets is a regulated partnership between the FCA and market participants and so gaps or holes in a firm’s ability to monitor and detect abusive trading pose direct risks to market integrity. This case is another example of the FCA’s determination to ensure firms prioritize market integrity and the maintenance of high standards of compliance.’

BGC/GFI agreed to resolve the case at an early stage and qualified for a 30% discount. Without this discount, the fine would have been £6,821,800.

BGC/GFI have since enhanced their systems and controls.

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