Pace fined £450,000 by FSA for rule breach

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The Independent Online

Pace Micro Technology, the television set-top box manufacturer, was fined £450,000 by the Financial Services Authority yesterday for a breach of the listing rules, after it abandoned its attempt to appeal against the penalty in the FSA Tribunal.

The fine - handed out for failure to ensure its 2002 interim results announcement provided a full and honest picture of the company's position - is the largest yet for any breach of the listing rules.

Gay Huey Evans, the FSA's director of markets, said: "The effect of Pace's omission from its interim announcement ... was further compounded by the delay in announcing its changed expectation as to its financial performance until 5 March 2002. These were clear breaches of the listing rules."

Pace, which has already spent about £1m on legal fees in relation to the incident, had initially appealed against the fine, and was due to meet the regulator in the Financial Services & Markets Tribunal next month.

But, in a statement yesterday, Pace said it had aborted the appeal due to the costs, but added it did not accept the FSA's conclusions. "It would not be in the best interests of the company or its shareholders to continue to pursue ... these matters," it said.