FCA criminal prosecution for destruction of documents – lessons for firms

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”)  has been unsuccessful in its attempted prosecution of a former banker, Konstantin Vishnyak, for destroying documents relevant to an FCA investigation brought against him for suspected insider dealing offences. This marks the first time the FCA has exercised its powers in connection with a destruction of documents offence under section 177(3)(a) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”). Despite the outcome, it illustrates the risks for firms and individuals in using messaging systems such as WhatsApp. Continue reading

ESMA confirms EU’s hardline stance to MiFIR Derivatives Trading Obligation post-Brexit

In a frustrating twist to the dangerously slow-moving narrative on cross-border financial market access post- Brexit, ESMA yesterday (25 November) issued a public statement confirming the EU’s hardline stance to the derivatives trading obligation (DTO) under MiFIR.  The DTO requires EU investment firms to trade certain classes of derivatives only on EU-authorised trading venues – or third country trading venues certified by the European Commission as equivalent. No such equivalence decision has been made or signalled by the EU for purposes of the DTO – and ESMA’s latest statement declines to offer any forbearance or similar relief to EU firms currently using UK venues for this purpose.

Continue reading

FCA prohibitions highlight increasing focus on non-financial misconduct

On 3 November, the FCA prohibited three individuals from working in the financial services industry following findings that they are not fit and proper. The three individuals were all approved persons at the time that they were convicted of serious indictable offences. These Final Notices confirm a trend we identified in our recent Top 10 Global Trends Regarding Investigations Involving Individuals: an increasing focus on non-financial misconduct. Continue reading