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Reports of market manipulation hit 822

822 reports of suspected market manipulation were made to the FCA last year (year end Dec 31 2019) by market participants, suggesting that the problem is far from being eradicated*, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

Market manipulation is the attempt to artificially increase or decrease the price of an asset, index or its derivative in order to make a gain. Following the LIBOR scandal that broke in 2012, the laws relating to market manipulation were significantly tightened up. This included criminalising the attempted manipulation of benchmarks (Financial Services Act 2012).

Market manipulation has been investigated by regulators in a wide range of asset classes, including bonds, Forex, oil, gold, silver, palladium and platinum. However, 60% of reports to the FCA last year related to suspected manipulation of equities and equity derivatives.

RPC says that reports of market manipulation are likely to have been made by brokers, trading houses and fund managers who identify suspicious price movements or order flows being posted by other market participants.

Simon Hart, Partner in RPC’s Banking and Financial Markets Disputes team says: “These statistics show that market manipulation has not gone away as a problem.”

“Whilst banks, brokerage firms and other market participants have significantly improved their compliance controls over the years, it is clear that problems remain. However, the very existence of better internal systems and controls may itself be leading to more concerns being identified and reported.”

“It is often in periods of major market turbulence that more serious examples of market manipulation get unearthed.”

“Market manipulation does not need to be on the scale of the LIBOR or FX for there to be a negative economic impact on other innocent market participants. Every distorted market carries a cost for someone.”

High profile instances of market manipulation since the 2008 financial crisis include:

  • The Forex Cartel, which resulted in six international banks being fined a total of $5.6bn for participating in cartels in the foreign exchange markets
  • The LIBOR scandal, which saw UK regulators levy substantial fines on the investment banks. The scandal has also led to the replacement of LIBOR with SONIA.
  • Precious metals – Barclays was fined US $43.8m for attempting to rig gold prices. In the US a number of banks and their traders including BAML have been fined or charged over attempted manipulation of precious metals.

Sesame Bankhall hires new MD to drive digital services

Adviser network Sesame Bankhall Group has appointed Richard Howells as managing director of Sesame Network to help drive growth in digital services.

Mr Howells has a long track record in the financial and intermediary sector, including Zurich Financial Services and Berkeley Independent Advisers.

In his new role he will report to group managing director, Martin Schultheiss. He will take up his new role at the beginning of April, joining the executive team.

Mr Howells has 20 years’ industry experience in a range of executive roles. He was most recently director of insurance wealth life & pensions at Experian.

Prior to this he spent spent seven years at Zurich Financial Services as UK intermediary sales director. Other senior roles include managing director of strategy & development at Bankhall, along with chief executive of Berkeley Independent Advisers.

Mr Schultheiss said: “Richard’s industry background is ideal for us, combining a successful financial advisory track record in executive roles, with recent years spent working on disruptive digital engagement strategies.

“Richard will bring fresh thinking to our future plans, helping to ensure our members compete successfully in a digital world. Our group is investing in a range of exciting new services that will be built with advisers, for advisers, and with a clear focus on the delivery of great service and good customer outcomes.”

Mr Howells said: “SBG is investing heavily in the future of professional advice and there are exciting times ahead for its members. I can’t wait to start working with the team to help strengthen our member relationships further, and develop a new range of compelling propositions, as well as ensuring that Sesame champions the valuable service delivered to customers by its mortgage and protection firms.”

Sesame has one of the UK’s largest appointed representative networks and its Bankhall arm supports adviser firms directly regulated by the FCA.

Elite Big 4 boutique seeking Audit and Advisory manager

This firm offers the quality and benefits of a large firm in a smaller environment where there is more opportunity to use your initiative and gain responsibility early on.

They provide wide-ranging work experience in fields including investigation litigation support, business planning, financial modelling, tax planning, audit and general business advice. You will have the opportunity to deal with everything from an entrepreneur just setting up a business, to a large established company.

Clients include high street names, AIM-listed companies, film distributors, retailers and travel firms. They also specialise in working with hedge fund managers regulated by the FCA.

Job Description

You will take responsibility for developing a wide ranging portfolio, building and driving excellent client relationships, delivering a quality service. You will manage the team and look to support and develop junior individuals. Alongside this you will have a development focus to your role, looking to identify opportunities for planning/further services etc. The firm is growing and planning for future developments and therefore the business is seeking individuals, who are career focused and looking to progress in level and responsibility. You will have genuine opportunity progress and develop in your career within this leading firm.

The Successful Applicant

  • ACA qualified accountant or equivalent
  • Currently working as an Audit Manager or Senior Manager
  • Intellectually ambitious
  • Aspirations to develop and one day achieve partnership
  • Curious and keen to offer clients a range of creative solutions
  • Focus on excellence in all you do
  • Enjoy building client relationships
  • Professional, friendly and supportive in approach

What’s On Offer

  • Company support, professional growth and partner prospects
  • £60,000 – £80,000 salary
  • Opportunity to study CTA (+ other qualifications)
  • Genuine work life balance
  • Opportunity to work with and learn from high quality senior advisers

Contact: Lorraine Twist
Quote job ref: 13915109
Telephone: +44 207 269 2244