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UK's FCA fines Citigroup $15 million for market abuse rule failings

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: The Citigroup Inc logo is seen at a conference in Toronto, Canada

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said on Friday it had fined Citigroup Global Markets 12.5 million pounds ($15 million) for past failures to properly apply rules aimed at spotting suspicious trading in shares and commodities.

Banks are required to implement rules introduced in 2016 and known as the market abuse regulation (MAR) to monitor for potential insider trading and market manipulation.

But until January 2018, the London-based international broker dealer arm of U.S. bank Citigroup failed to identify significant gaps in its arrangements, systems, and procedures for trade surveillance, the FCA said in a statement.

Citigroup Global Markets had agreed to resolve the case and qualified for a 30% discount, otherwise it would have been fined 18 million pounds, the FCA said.

Citi said it was pleased to put the matter behind it.

Analysis https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/final-notices/citigroup-global-markets-limited-2022.pdf found "many significant trade surveillance gaps" in areas like equities, interest rates and commodities trades, the FCA said, adding that keeping markets clean depends on partnership between banks and the regulator.

"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," Mark Steward, the FCA's executive director for enforcement, said in a statement.

During the period covered by the watchdog's enforcement action, the broker-dealer earned about 2.6 billion pounds in revenue from arranging or executing trades on markets.

($1 = 0.8410 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)