Katie Stephen (UK)

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The FCA has finalised its review of how firms have implemented its whistleblowing rules, which became effective from September 2016 (the Rules). A copy of the review can be found here. The review, which focused on a range of retail and wholesale banks, found that the Rules had helped to ensure that firms implemented whistleblowing arrangements and were managing concerns raised by employees in a fair and consistent way. However, in addition to outlining…
On 5 October 2018, the Dispute Settlement and Sanctions Committee (CoRDiS) of French Regulatory Commission (CRE) fined VITOL S.A. €5 million for engaging in market manipulation on the French Southern virtual Gas Trading Point (PEG Sud) between 1 June 2013 and 31 March 2014. The EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) has said that this decision is the first to impose a penalty within the framework of the REMIT Regulation in the…
The FCA has prohibited Christian Bittar, a former derivatives trader of products referenced to Euribor at a global bank, from all controlled functions for seeking to manipulate Euribor. The FCA refrained from imposing an additional financial penalty on the basis that the Crown Court had sentenced Mr Bittar to 5 years and 4 months in prison and confiscation order of £2.5m plus costs in relation to substantially the same matters.  During the relevant period, Mr Bittar…
This decision makes it clear that personal culpability cannot be avoided through delegation or collective decision-making structures, such as the board, even where other directors have been allocated particular responsibility for specific areas including compliance.  Where responsibility is delegated, directors are not absolved from acquiring a sufficient understanding of the business to enable them to effectively challenge their fellow directors. Overview The Upper Tribunal has upheld the FCA’s decision to prohibit Alistair Burns from performing…
Medical cannabis is already big business in Canada. With the production of recreational cannabis due to be legalised there in October 2018 that business is expected to continue to grow, with Deloitte estimating that the total legal cannabis market will generate some CAD4.34 billion in 2019. However, UK corporates and financial institutions wishing to invest or be involved in activity relating to Canadian cannabis businesses face a real obstacle: doing so could technically constitute a…
On 25 July 2018, the FCA published final notices that it has issued to four former directors and shareholders of Secure My Money Limited (now dissolved), prohibiting them from performing any function relating to any regulated activity: Mark Kennedy. David Mullins. Edward Booth. Christopher Brotherton. The final notices state that that between November 2013 and July 2014, the four individuals lacked honesty and integrity by deliberately misleading often vulnerable customers in…
The FCA has published its Enforcement annual performance report 2017/18, which provides an overview of the FCA’s enforcement activities over the last year. In summary, the FCA is opening more cases, but the average financial penalty has fallen significantly by around 65% and, although the average cost of civil and regulatory cases is down, the average length of these cases has increased by around 6 weeks. Conversely, criminal cases are costing more but concluding…
The Tribunal has held that third party rights do not arise in the context of Supervisory Notices, nor do the relevant provisions allow third parties to refer Supervisory Notices to the Tribunal, even where they are identified. Although Parliament has specifically provided for this right in the context of Warning and Decision Notices, it has not in relation to Supervisory Notices, which do not impose sanctions but provide the FCA with a tool where there…