Last month the Upper Tribunal (the "Tribunal") rejected an appeal by Ian Hannam ("Hannam") against the Financial Services Authority's ("FSA") (predecessor to the Financial Conduct Authority) controversial 2012 decision that he had committed market abuse. Few cases have caused more discussion amongst London's bankers than the FSA's pursuit of Hannam for market abuse. Some commentators take the view that the FSA acted inappropriately by fining Hannam for simply doing what bankers have always done - sharing bits of information with potential investors to generate interest in a client. Others believe that the FSA behaved in an equitable way enforcing its rules against disclosure of inside information.
Regardless of the view held, the Tribunal's decision sends a clear message as to what conduct will be classified as market abuse and the consequences of failing to follow internal procedures for dealing with inside information.
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