Tougher FSA doles out £4.2m fines for transaction reporting breaches

THREE firms were yesterday rapped with £4.2m of fines from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for breaching transaction reporting procedures, in another sign of the regulator’s ongoing crackdown on the City.

Credit Suisse was ordered to cough up £1.75m, while trading firm Getco Europe will pay a £1.4m fine and agency broker Instinet Europe £1.05m. The combined total of the fines would have been £6m if the firms involved had not fully cooperated with the investigation, the regulator said.

The FSA said all three firms committed multiple breaches in failing to provide transaction reports promptly to the regulator. It added that the breaches occurred during 2007 and 2008 and came despite repeated reminders from the FSA.

FSA director of markets Alexander Justham said: “Without quality data we cannot properly detect and investigate market abuse, identify market wide risks or have a comprehensive understanding of the activities of each firm.”

Credit Suisse said it “deeply regrets” the breach, though it is thought part of the mix-up occurred because the bank assumed a third-party provider, Euroclear UK and Ireland, was providing the data to the FSA.

A Getco spokeswoman also said the error was “due to a failure in the procedures of an external third party” on which it relied.

“While the third party assured us that the transactions were being reported properly, it was our responsibility to ensure that was in fact the case,” Getco admitted.

Instinet chief Richard Balarkas said his firm had worked hard to identify and address the issues in question.