SocGen fined £1.5m for poor reporting

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The Independent Online

The City watchdog has handed Société Générale, the victim of France's largest ever rogue trading scandal two years ago, a fine of £1.5m after it failed to accurately report millions of trades.

The Financial Services Authority slapped the London branch of SocGen with a censure for failing to submit accurate reports for about 80 per cent of its 23.5 million reportable transactions between November 2007 and February 2010, despite repeated reminders.

SocGen is the sixth bank to have been fined for inaccurate transaction reporting this year, including a £2.4m fine for Barclays, and £1.7m for Credit Suisse.

Margaret Cole, the FSA's director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "SocGen failed to accurately report a very high proportion of its transactions for a significant length of time. This failure is a serious breach of our rules as it can have a damaging impact on our ability to detect and investigate suspected market abuse."

The FSA obliges firms to provide data on the trades executed by the close of business the following day to help detect and investigate suspected market abuse, including insider trading and market manipulation.

Companies trading in the UK must also keep all data related to financial transactions, and make it available to the regulator on demand, for at least five years. The FSA also criticised SocGen for breaching these rules.

A spokesman for SocGen said the group had fully co-operated with the FSA and "have taken and continue to take all the necessary steps to ensure that we are able to meet our transaction reporting obligations to the FSA going forward". Its co-operation led the regulator to cut the fine by 30 per cent.

SocGen hit the headlines around the world in 2008 when it revealed that the actions of the rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel had lost it almost €5bn. At the time an independent report found that SocGen had missed 75 warnings of his activities.

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