Regulator fines Commerzbank £595,000 over reporting lapses

The Financial Services Authority has slapped Commerzbank with a £595,000 fine, making it the fifth City firm to be censured in eight months for failing to accurately report trading data.

The regulator fined the London branch of the German financial services giant after it sent the regulator inaccurate trading reports or failed to submit at all for two years.

Commerzbank failed to comply, despite requests from the FSA to check its data as well as "repeated reminders to firms of their obligations to provide accurate data and the importance of compliance".

While there was no suggestion of market abuse at Commerzbank, the FSA demands firms submit accurate data on trades by the close of business the day after they are executed. It uses this to police market manipulation and insider trading.

Alexander Justham, the FSA's director of markets, said: "Commerzbank's reporting failures could have a damaging impact on our ability to detect and investigate suspected market abuse. Firms and their management must ensure they submit quality transaction reporting data."

Commerzbank said in a statement it had "fully co-operated with the FSA and is deeply committed to meeting its regulatory obligations". It has launched a review of its transaction reporting operation and said it was committing "extensive resources to improve its processes and resolve the errors".

The regulator has been on the warpath to clean up the City over the past 18 months, increasing its pursuit of companies and individuals that have abused the market. Commerzbank's censure marks the fifth fine the FSA has issued since August 2009 – when Barclays' investment banking arm was handed a fine of £2.4m – to firms failing to provide accurate transaction reports.

The FSA discovered Barclays Capital's reporting failures as it reviewed a suspected incident of market abuse by an outside party. It found the group's systems and controls were inadequate, and the transactions reported were riddled with errors.

Mr Justham said at the time that the penalty was so much higher to reflect the "serious nature of Barclays breaches and is a warning to other firms that the FSA will not tolerate inadequate systems and controls". Earlier this month the City regulator fined Credit Suisse, the market-maker Getco Europe and the broker Instinet Europe a total of £4.2m on the same charges. Each firm was found to have committed "multiple breaches" to provide prompt, accurate data. "Each firm could have prevented the breaches by carrying out regular reviews of its data. Despite repeated reminders from the FSA during the course of 2007 and 2008, none of the firms did this," it said.

Other firms that felt FSA's heat

*The FSA won its market abuse case against Winterflood Securities last week, imposing a fine of £4m on AIM's largest market-maker. Wins was found to have played a pivotal role in illegal share ramping in Fundamental-E Investments.

*Alliance & Leicester was ordered to pay $7m in 2008 after the regulator found "serious failings" in its telephone sales of payment protection insurance over a three-year period.

*Last year, UBS was fined £8m for control failures that for nearly two years enabled staff to carry out unauthorised transactions with customers' money. The Swiss bank paid more than $42m in compensation for their losses.

*Citigroup received the largest ever fine handed to a financial services company – £13.9m – in 2005. It was censured after its so-called "Dr Evil" bond trades disrupted the bond markets and breached two FSA principles.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss