GNI fined pounds 21,600 for trading breaches

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The Independent Online
CHRISTOPHER Sharples, the chairman of the Securities and Futures Authority, yesterday suffered the embarrassment of seeing his own firm fined by another City regulator, writes Peter Rodgers. GNI, the big commodities and futures dealing firm where Mr Sharples is a founder director, was fined a total of pounds 21,600 by the International Petroleum Exchange.

The IPE said it had found breaches of rules and trading procedures in floor dealings by Michael Angel, who trades on his own account, and certain floor staff of GNI.

The breaches included executing trades by means other than open outcry; failing to register or properly execute a number of cross trades; and abusing a client order by trading away from the market price.

Mr Angel was fined pounds 10,450 and suspended for three months. Alex Bonner was found to have acted in bad faith in conjunction with Mr Angel and to the detriment of GNI. He was fined pounds 7,150 and suspended for three months.

GNI was responsible for the activities of its employees, the IPE said, in levying a fine of pounds 15,600 on the company as well. In an unrelated breach of rules, GNI was fined pounds 6,000, Robert Laughlin pounds 1,500 and Keith Pascall pounds 500. Both are employees of GNI.

GNI said the infringements were regrettable but had to be seen in perspective. Trade clients were disadvantaged by dollars 500 in total and GNI, rather than a client, suffered in the trade that led to the three- month suspension of a former employee.