FCA publishes Decision Notices against three bond traders for market manipulation

The FCA has decided to ban Mr. Urra, Mr. Lopez Gonzalez, and Mr. Sheth from performing any functions in relation to regulated activity. The FCA has also imposed fines of £395,000 on Mr. Urra and £100,000 each on Mr. Lopez Gonzalez and Mr. Sheth.

The traders, who worked at Mizuho International Plc at the time, have referred the Decision Notices to the Upper Tribunal where they and the FCA will each present their cases.

The Tribunal will then determine what, if any, is the appropriate action for the FCA to take and will remit the matter to the FCA with such direction as the Tribunal considers appropriate for giving effect to its determination and in relation to the prohibition orders, whether to dismiss the references or remit them to the Authority with a direction to reconsider and reach a decision in accordance with the findings of the Tribunal.

The Tribunal’s decision will be made public on its website. Accordingly, the proposed action outlined in the Decision Notices will have no effect pending the determination of the case by the Tribunal.

The FCA considers that the traders placed large misleading orders for BTP Futures that they did not intend to execute, giving false and misleading signals and a false or misleading impression as to the supply or demand of Italian Government Bond futures (BTP Futures) between 1 June 2016 and 29 July 2016. At the same time, they placed small orders that they did intend to execute on the opposite side of the order book.

The FCA considers that the individuals repeated this pattern of deliberate and intentional market manipulation on a number of occasions and were dishonest.

In the FCA’s view, the fines and the bans that it has decided to impose reflect the serious nature of the breaches set out in the Decision Notices and should act as a deterrent to other market participants. 

There are no other ongoing investigations or actions relating to the trading.

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