The Upper Tribunal increased a financial penalty imposed by the FSA on an individual for insider dealing despite pleas of financial hardship. In the matter of Andre Jean Scerri (FIN/2009/0016), the Tribunal decided that it was appropriate to impose a financial penalty of £66,062.50 for market abuse, increased from the penalty of £46,062.50 originally imposed by the FSA.

The FSA had decided not to impose the penalty of £20k on the grounds that it would cause serious financial hardship. The Tribunal ruled that the information Scerri had provided to the FSA in connection with his financial hardship claim was incomplete and misleading, and found that Scerri’s current financial situation was a result of self-induced damage occurring after he became aware of the proposed penalty. The Tribunal considered that Scerri’s market abuse was serious and they decided to impose the additional £20k financial penalty irrespective of his current financial position.  

This case also serves as a reminder that when a case is referred to the Tribunal, the Tribunal can make any award. Thus, in an appropriate case it can impose a more severe financial penalty than the FSA was proposing.

For a copy of the press release announcing the Tribunal’s decision click here.