View more on these topics

FSA fines Merrill Lynch International

The Financial Services Authority has fined Merrill Lynch International 150,000 for failing to accurately report certain transactions to the FSA and previously the Securities and Futures Authority.

Between September 1996 and January 2006, Merrill Lynch, which owns Mortgage plc, executed an estimated 1.2 million transactions in non-UK European equities.

These transactions were incorrectly reported because they showed the firm’s status as ‘agent’ rather than ‘principal’.

This was because the transaction reporting system was set to report trades from the client’s perspective rather than the firm’s perspective.

The error in the transaction reporting system was not spotted by Merrill Lynch until December 2005.

This was despite the firm’s increased focus on transaction reporting issues following a private warning from the FSA in November 2002 and subsequent discussions with the FSA about certain transactions in 2004 and 2005.

During this time the firm made several improvements to the systems and controls to report transactions, and increased the seniority of the team overseeing reporting, but improvements did not focus on the content of the reports.

Accurate transaction reports are critical to the FSA’s ability to maintain confidence in the financial markets and reduce financial crime.

Merrill Lynch reported the transaction failures to the FSA in January 2006 and has co-operated fully with the FSA’s investigation.

The firm completed a systems change to correct the error, and has revised the testing mandate to include all mandatory fields.

The fine does not relate to any mortgage activity.

Recommended

Considering the renovation options

A recent conversation with a friend who is considering buying nothing short of a wreck led me to think about mortgages for property renovation, especially as these deals are destined to become more popular in the coming years.

Purely Mortgages sheds 19 staff

Purely Mortgages has shed 19 of its 45 sales staff, the Times newspaper has reported.The mortgage broker, which is majority-owned by Vincent Tchenguiz, has reportedly told its staff their job losses are part of a restructuring of the firm.Purely Mortgages has already had two previous financial restructurings in the past nine months.It was disclosed that […]

Networks branded immoral

Richard Coulson, chief executive of Home of Choice, has attacked what he calls the immoral behaviour of some networks. Speaking on the first anniversary of Home of Choice, Coulson says app-ointed representatives are sometimes held back from joining it promptly because of contractual clauses placed on them by other networks which he says are behaving […]

Listening to the consumer’s voice

Last week I explained in brief the role of the Financial Services Practitioner Panel and the Smaller Business Practitioner Panel. This week it’s the turn of the Financial Services Consumer Panel. This panel was set up by the Financial Services Authority under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and its role is to represent the interests of consumers of financial services.

Healthcare regulation amalgamation predicted for Gulf states

While Dubai is leading the way in terms of legislating for expat healthcare in the Gulf, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and others are watching and learning – that’s according to Jelf International’s director of international services, Doug Rice. He believes the pace of change in the Gulf states will continue and that some level of unified healthcare system will be introduced across the region.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up