Asia markets tentative ahead of Opec meeting

Wednesday 2.30am GMT Overview Markets across Asia were treading cautiously on Wednesday, following mild overnight gains for Wall Street, a weakening of the US dollar and as investors turned their attention to a meeting between Opec members later today. What to watch Oil prices are in focus ahead of Wednesday’s Opec meeting in Vienna. The […]

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Banks, Financial

RBS emerges as biggest failure in tough UK bank stress tests

Royal Bank of Scotland has emerged as the biggest failure in the UK’s annual stress tests, forcing the state-controlled lender to present regulators with a new plan to bolster its capital position by at least £2bn. Barclays and Standard Chartered also failed to meet some of their minimum hurdles in the toughest stress scenario ever […]

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Barclays: life in the old dog yet

Barclays, a former basket case of British banking, is beginning to look inspiringly mediocre. The bank has failed Bank of England stress tests less resoundingly than Royal Bank of Scotland. Investors believe its assets are worth only 10 per cent less than their book value, judging from the share price. Although Barclays’s legal team have […]

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Currencies, Equities

Scary movie sequel beckons for eurozone markets

Just as horror movies can spook fright nerds more than they expect, so political risk is sparking heightened levels of anxiety among seasoned investors. Investors caught out by Brexit and Donald Trump are making better preparations for political risk in Europe, plotting a route to the exit door if the unfolding story of French, German […]

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Dollar rises as markets turn eyes to Opec

European bourses are mirroring a tentative Asia session as the dollar continues to be supported by better US economic data and investors turn their attention to a meeting between Opec members. Sentiment is underpinned by US index futures suggesting the S&P 500 will gain 3 points to 2,207.3 when trading gets under way later in […]

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Categorized | Banks, Financial

FCA appeal in Whale case set for court

Posted on September 25, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A general view of the Supreme Court on May 19, 2016 in London, England. The Supreme Court has ruled that an injunction that banned the naming of a 'celebrity' allegedly involved in an extra-marital relationship should stay in place. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)©Getty

Supreme Court in London

A landmark case with potentially far-reaching consequences on what the financial regulator is able to publish in enforcement cases is set to be heard before the UK’s highest court next month.

The Supreme Court appeal by the Financial Conduct Authority centres on whether Achilles Macris, who was chief investment officer of the synthetic credit portfolio team at JPMorgan, was improperly identified by the FCA when it fined the bank £138m over the Whale debacle in 2013.

    Mr Macris was in charge of JPMorgan’s London Whale, a nickname given by rival traders based on the large debt-market trades at the bank. He oversaw Bruno Iksil, the trader at the heart of the scandal that cost the US bank $1bn in penalties, including the FCA fine.

    Mr Macris claims that the FCA findings improperly identified him as “CIO London management” and accused him of deliberately misleading the regulator. He was unable to give his account of events, he argues.

    FCA final notices are not intended to identify individuals because they may face future criminal prosecutions before a jury. But often the FCA’s findings are detailed and include emails from traders or messages from electronic chat rooms, which are linked to certain bankers by the media.

    Those individuals identified by the FCA are meant to be given the right to make representations — and can also be given certain evidence — before a final notice is published.

    Mr Macris argues that he should have been consulted before the FCA report detailing the wrongdoing was published because even though he was not mentioned by name, his identity could be ascertained.

    He argued that there were references to a part of the bank’s management structure that identified him and he should have been given the right to make representations.

    The Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal have both held Mr Macris was identified by the notices.

    Athens-based Mr Macris was fined £792,000 by the FCA earlier this year for failing to inform it about concerns over the credit derivatives division he headed, where trades ultimately led to huge losses in 2012. The regulator said there was no deliberate dishonesty on the part of Mr Macris.

    If the Supreme Court upholds the earlier decisions about identifying Mr Macris it could mean that the FCA has to be more cautious about the detailed information it can publish in future rulings.

    The FCA appeal is being closely watched because at least four other traders — caught up in regulatory probes including the Libor and foreign exchange rigging probe — have filed similar legal challenges over their alleged identification in decision notices.