FSA issues ban over ramping

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The City watchdog yesterday brought the curtain down on a stockbroker's 40 years in the City, banning Graham Betton from the square mile for his role in a share ramping plot.

Mr Betton was director of agency-only stockbroker SP Bell, along with Simon Eagle, who has already been banned and fined £2.8m by the Financial Services Authority in May. The bans were issued after Eagle in 2003 bought 85per cent of shell company Fundamental-E Investments. He bought SP Bell to sell FEI stock to its clients, generating demand for the shares and boosting its price.

Betton e instructed SP Bell staff to sell FEI shares to clients, many unaware that the shares were traded on their behalf. A tribunal agreed to ban him and is now considering a fine.