On 22 July 2014, the FCA published a Final Notice for former JPMorgan Banker Ian Hannam, after the Upper Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) upheld the FCA’s decision that Mr. Hannam had engaged in two instances of market abuse via the improper disclosure of inside information. The Tribunal’s decision was concerned with whether two emails sent by Mr. Hannam on 9 September and 8 October 2008, containing information about Heritage Oil, fell within the definition of inside information as established by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.Mr. Hannam’s defence argued that the contents of the emails were too imprecise (and possibly even inaccurate) to constitute insider information.
The FCA’s director of Enforcement and Financial crime, Tracey McDermott, described the judgment as “landmark” and stated that “it should leave market participants in no doubt that casual and uncontrolled distribution of inside information is not acceptable in today’s markets.” The financial penalty of £450,000 issued by the FCA is one of the largest fines issued against an individual in Britain; however, it was recognized that Mr. Hannam’s actions were unintentional and he has retained his “fit and proper” status as an approved person.
The FCA’s final notice is available at: http://www.fca.org.uk/news/fca-publishes-final-notice-for-ian-hannam