The City's top watchdog has slapped banking giant Merrill Lynch with a £34.5m fine for not reporting tens of millions of derivative trades over a two year period.
Merrill Lynch International accepted a settlement early on in the investigation, thereby securing a 30 percent penalty reduction, from the original £49.32 million fee.
The move marks the first enforcement action against a firm for failing to report details of trading in exchange-traded derivatives, under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), which the FCA said reflects the importance it places on this type of reporting.
The bank was fined 13.28 million pounds in April 2015 for failing to accurately report transactions between 2007 and 2014. The reporting requirement was one of the key reforms introduced following the financial crisis in 2008 to improve transparency within financial markets.
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Banks now have to report their derivatives trades in a timely way so that regulators can spot uncontrolled risks building up.
He added: "It is vital that reporting firms ensure their transaction reporting systems are tested as fit for goal, adequately resourced and perform properly".
"It is vital that reporting firms ensure their transaction reporting systems are tested as fit for objective, adequately resourced and perform properly", said Mark Steward, FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, in a statement. There needs to be a line in the sand. We will continue to take appropriate action against any firm that fails to meet requirements.
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