Banker claims he was pushed and pummelled by regulator

Michael Bow
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ONE OF the City’s most prolific dealmakers yesterday accused regulators of tarnishing his 20-year banking career over allegations he leaked inside information to a Kurdish government minister.

Ian Hannam, former chairman of JP Morgan’s capital markets division, is fighting to restore his reputation after quitting banking last April to appeal a £450,000 Financial Services Authority (FSA) fine – costing him more than £20m in foregone remuneration.

“They are grave charges to bring against someone,” his lawyer Laurence Rabinowitz told a tribunal in London yesterday. “He has, in effect, been driven out of JP Morgan as a result of the FSA’s pushing and pummelling of him.”

The case centres on two emails sent by Hannam to the Kurdish oil minister in 2008 regarding Hannam’s client, Heritage Oil.

The FSA said the emails contained inside information that should not have been disclosed.

Hannam’s defence said the minister was already in receipt of the information after being told by the boss of Heritage Oil at a meeting in Harry’s Bar prior to the email. The defence also said that the details in the email were false.

Documents submitted to the court yesterday also showed JP Morgan conducted its own investigation into Hannam in 2009 and subsequently imposed tough restrictions on his working practices. Hannam is expected to take the stand today. The tribunal continues.