Regulatory Enforcement Update

(1) The European Commission said in a press release on 4 February 2015 that it fined UK brokerLawEnforcement ICAP €14.9 million for having breached EU anti-trust rules by facilitating several cartels in the sector of Yen (JPY) interest rate derivatives (YIRD).  The anti-competitive conduct concerned discussions between traders of various participating banks on certain JPY LIBOR submissions.

(2) Alex Hope (7 years’ imprisonment) and co-defendant Raj Von Badlo (2 years’ imprisonment) were sentenced following their conviction for defrauding investors and operating an unauthorised collective investment scheme, which was closed by the FCA in April 2012.  Over 100 investors gave Hope over £5.5 million to purportedly trade in forex markets although most of it was not traded and instead diverted to fund his lifestyle.  Von Badlo promoted Hope’s scheme to many investors.

(3) Meanwhile, the City of London Police announced on 5 February 2015 that they had concluded there is not sufficient evidence to progress a criminal investigation of payday lender Wonga.  The main allegations against Wonga were that it had deceived its customers by sending letters falsely purporting to be from lawyers with the aim of recovering their outstanding debts.

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