SFA fines trading ring participants 35,000 pounds: Trio's dealing failed 'high standards of integrity'

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THE Securities and Futures Authority has fined and reprimanded three securities traders for operating an unofficial trading ring that failed the SFA's 'high standards of integrity'.

The three have been fined a total of pounds 35,500. They are Donald Morgan, who was sacked by UBS after the Swiss investment bank discovered the operation in March 1993; Keith Place, who has kept his job at NatWest Capital Markets, and Martin Smith, who has since resigned from JP Morgan.

Mr Morgan was a dealer in floating rate notes at UBS. The SFA said that in late 1992 and early 1993 he arranged four 'manufactured' trades in FRNs that were of no commercial benefit to UBS or the counter-parties to the deals, but were designed to provide brokerage for an intermediate broker at the expense of UBS.

Also in 1993 he entered into an arrangement with Mr Place so that on five occasions, in order temporarily to reduce the stock positions on their books, the two men 'parked' stock with each other on the understanding that it would probably be repurchased after a short period. That understanding was not recorded in writing in a repurchase agreement, as it should have been.

Imro, the investment management regulator, has fined Abbey Life's Abbey Unit Trust Managers pounds 10,000 plus pounds 8,000 costs for allowing brokers to pay for Abbey staff trips to the US and Far East.

The regulator accepted that the rule breach, which concerned soft commission agreements, was 'a misinterpretation of the rules and this accounted for the relatively small fine'.