The Financial Conduct Authority announced on 23 October 2017 that it had fined Merrill Lynch International £34,524,000 for failing to report 68.5 million exchange traded derivative transactions between 12 February 2014 and 6 February 2016.

Reporting exchange traded derivative transactions helps authorities assess and address the risk inherent in financial systems caused by a lack of transparency. The reporting requirement was one of the key reforms introduced following the financial crisis in 2008 to improve transparency within financial markets.

Mark Steward, Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight said: "Effective market oversight depends on accurate and timely reporting of transactions.”

In a recent blog we looked at the increased burden that the Market Abuse Regulations and the incoming Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (“MiFID II”) will have on firms in respect of the information they must report to the financial regulator.

The updated rules on transaction reporting set out within MiFID II, due to take effect on 3 January 2018, will increase from 24 to 65, the number of fields of information that a firm must submit for every transaction. Firms will need to ensure that they have fully understood the new reporting obligations to avoid being the next firm to be penalised for failing to adhere to the rules.

This recent Enforcement outcome highlights the importance that the FCA continues to put on the correct submission of transactional data.