FCA fines Merrill Lynch for transaction reporting failures: FCA has fined Merrill Lynch International £13,285,900 for transaction reporting failures. It found that over a seven-year period the firm incorrectly reported over 35 million transactions and failed to report over 100,000. FCA identified 11 different reasons for breach, most involving over three million transactions. This is the highest fine for transaction reporting failures, and FCA applied a penalty of £1.50 per line of incorrect or non-reported data rather than the £1.00 per line used in the last three cases because it said past fines have not been high enough to achieve credible deterrence. It also noted the firm failed to adequately address the root causes over several years, despite both substantial FCA guidance and a private warning to the firm in 2002 and a fine of £150,000 in 2006. (Source: FCA Fines Merrill Lynch for Transaction Reporting Failures)

FCA confirms broker ban: The Upper Tribunal has directed FCA to ban former insurance broker Stephen Allen. FCA had proposed to do so as it felt he was not fit and proper. It cited an example of charging fees improperly to a client in the course of his insurance broking activities. Mr Allen had referred FCA's decision to the Tribunal, in the course of which he sought to rely on a redacted extract from a High Court judgment to discredit a witness. FCA discovered the judge in that case had found Mr Allen had knowingly advanced and given untrue evidence, including submitting a forged document. FCA asked the Tribunal to consider that this, and Mr Allen's attempts to conceal the full judgment from FCA, would instead be the grounds for the ban. The Tribunal agreed, and the Court of Appeal refused Mr Allen's application to appeal the Tribunal's findings. (Source: FCA Confirms Broker Ban)

FCA updates NPPR forms: FCA has updated some of the forms in its Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive library. The forms relate to the National Private Placement Regime (NPPR) and are forms firms must use when notifying FCA of material changes. (Source: FCA Updates NPPR Forms)