FCA hands Citigroup £12.6m fine

The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Citigroup Global Markets £12,553,800 for failing to properly implement the Market Abuse Regulation trade surveillance requirements relating to the detection of market abuse.

By failing to properly implement the proper requirements, the division was found to have insufficiently monitored its trading activities for certain types of insider dealing and market manipulation.

Introduced in 2016, MAR expanded requirements to detect and report potential market abuse. It introduced a requirement to monitor both orders and trades to detect potential and attempted market abuse across a broad range of markets and financial instruments.

In this case, Citigroup Global Markets failed to properly implement the new requirement when it took effect, and took 18 months to identify and assess the specific market abuse risks its business may have been exposed to and which it needed to detect.

The watchdog said Citigroup Global Markets’ flawed implementation resulted in significant gaps in its arrangements, systems and procedures for additional trade surveillance.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight, commented: “The framework for market integrity depends on the partnership between the FCA and market participants using data to detect suspicious trading. By not fully implementing the new provisions when required, Citigroup Global Markets did not carry its full weight in this partnership, impacting market integrity and the overall detection of market abuse.”

Citigroup Global Markets agreed to resolve this case and qualified for a 30% discount, without which the fine would have been £17,934,030.

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