Trader faces ban from financial industry after lying to tribunal

Tim Wallace
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COFFEE trader David John Hobbs faces a ban from working in financial services after the Court of Appeal yesterday found he lied to a tribunal over claims of market abuse.

Hobbs – dubbed the Caffiend – has also been fined £175,000.

In 2010 the ex-Mizuho trader was accused by the Financial Services Authority of manipulating the coffee futures and derivatives markets.

Hobbs denied he had abused the markets, taking the case to a tribunal. Although the tribunal did not find him guilty of abusing markets, it did uncover evidence that Hobbs lied about the course of events in the case – an act by itself earning him a ban from the industry.

And a Court of Appeal judgement has agreed that Hobbs should be punished.

“Even if the applicant was not guilty of market abuse, his lying, which in earlier proceedings the tribunal had found as a fact, demonstrated that he was not a fit and proper person,” said the judgement.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said this sentence should be a lesson to others in the sector to behave honestly.

“Hobbs misled the FCA during its investigation. He misled the tribunal,” said FCA enforcement head Tracey McDermott.

“Accordingly, he failed to demonstrate the standards of behaviour that we expect of those who hold the privileged position of approved person and failed in his basic responsibility to act with integrity: if you cannot tell the truth there is no place for you in the financial services industry.”

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