Liffe irregularities cost firm pounds 45,000

MeesPierson ICS has been fined pounds 20,000 and ordered to pay pounds 25,560 in costs after a reprimand by the Securities and Futures Authority for the actions of a "local" trader at Liffe, who was registered by the firm, and for inadequate supervision of a trainee trader, writes Jill Treanor.

The SFA said Willem Van der Vorm, a "local", was "severely reprimanded", fined pounds 10,000 and required to pay costs of pounds 1,000 for unauthorised management of clients' accounts.

A local is a self-employed trader who deals in futures and options at Liffe for their own account or for other members at the exchange. They are registered with the firm which clears their accounts.

Mr Van der Vorm was registered as a trader which meant he could not give investment advice or manage investments for third parties. He had managed the investments of two customers of MeesPierson before April 1991, when he was regulated by the Association of Futures Brokers and Dealers and permitted to do so.

But, after being regulated by the SFA, he continued to manage those accounts even though he had been registered as a trader and not as a representative.

Both MeesPierson and Mr Van der Vorm accepted he was not authorised to manage the accounts once registered with the SFA and that he was in breach of the SFA's rules.