According to the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), complying with the Market Abuse Regulation (“MAR”) is more than adhering to a set of prescriptive requirements. Julia Hoggett, Director of Market Oversight at the FCA has described it as a “state of mind”. This may be true but there are also rules which must be obeyed. The FCA is clearly increasingly focusing on market abuse controls and firms who fall foul of them face severe penalties.
At EU level, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a Consultation Paper on a number of key areas including extending the scope of MAR to spot FX contracts, as well as examining the current definition of “inside information” and the relationship between MAR and market soundings. Their Report is expected in Spring 2020.
Whatever the outcome at an EU level, and whatever the UK’s future relationship with the EU may be, one thing is clear: the FCA will leave no stone unturned in investigating any potential market misconduct or manipulation.
At this important Summit, Julia Hoggett, Director of Market Oversight at the FCA will deliver the keynote address, highlighting their current and future priorities including the control of inside information following the Abdel-Malek case. Other key issues to be addressed include:
- Differences in approach across European regulators and cross-border regulatory co-operation
- Should the perimeter of MAR be extended to the foreign exchange and commodities markets?
- Aligning market abuse surveillance and controls with AML/financial crime surveillance and controls
- The relationship between MAR and legitimate market sounding
- Suspicious activity and transaction reporting from the buy-side and sell-side
- Issuers’ obligations on inside information controls
- Market conduct risk of cryptoassets