Financial News

  • 21 July 2014, 21:08

Top City Banker To Pay 450,000 FCA Penalty

One of the City's top financiers is poised to pay a 450,000 fine after deciding to accept a market abuse ruling by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Sky News understands that Ian Hannam, a banker who became known as the 'king of mining M&A' after engineering some of the world's biggest natural resources mergers, is to accept the watchdog's original verdict after losing an appeal in May.

An insider said on Friday that a statement from the FCA confirming that the original decision is to be upheld is expected as early as next week.

Mr Hannam, who had a long career at JP Morgan Cazenove before leaving in 2012, was accused by the FCA of inappropriately disclosing inside information in 2008 about Heritage Oil, a client, to a potential buyer.

He had argued that the FCA's ruling was erroneous and that he acted in accordance with City rules, vowing to fight the decision.

The regulator did not accuse or find Mr Hannam guilty of deliberately setting out to commit market abuse or accuse him of lacking honesty or integrity.

The Upper Tribunal of the High Court rejected his appeal in a judgement which was greeted by relief at the FCA but which raised questions about the clarity of guidelines about acceptable City conduct.

Both parties are understood to have made representations about the scale of the fine following the verdict of the Upper Tribunal, which said:

"Although the parties' written submissions did say something about the appropriate penalty if Mr Hannam had been engaged in market abuse, we consider that we cannot properly deal with this aspect of the case without giving the parties the opportunity to make further submissions in the light of our findings on the substantive issues.

The tribunal and the parties will need to consider the best way forward procedurally for dealing with the question of penalty."

The ruling left open the question of whether the penalty imposed on Mr Hannam should be increased or decreased.

Mr Hannam, who received backing from a number of prominent City figures and company bosses during his appeal, is said to have racked up legal fees of approximately 1m during his case.

Since leaving JP Morgan, he has rebuilt his career, taking control of a number of businesses in the mining and resources industries.

He has also given financial backing to Heathrow Hub, one of the shortlisted candidates for expanding runway capacity in south-east England.

Spokesmen for Mr Hannam and the FCA declined to comment on Friday.

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