Cooking the order books: Former JP Morgan chief loses appeal against market abuse tribunal

Former JP Morgan Capital Markets senior executive Ian Hannam has lost his appeal against The Upper Tribunal which made a decision that Mr. Hannam engaged in two instances of market abuse.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) yesterday announced that Mr. Hannam, who resigned from his post as Global Chairman of JP Morgan Capital Markets, itself one of the world’s largest FX institutions, in September 2012 in order to make his appeal against a decision notice issued at the time by the incumbent British financial regulatory authority of the time, the Financial Services Authority.

The Upper Tribunal found that Hannam to appeal this judgement.

The Tribunal ruled that Mr Hannam had engaged in two instances of market abuse by disclosing inside information other than in the proper course of his employment in two emails dated 9 September and 8 October 2008.

In its decision, The Tribunal commented: “Mr Hannam’s actions in sending both the September email and the October email constituted behaviour falling within section 118(3) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 5 2000 (“FSMA”). He was thereby engaged in market abuse.”

The Tribunal also commented on the standards of behaviour it expected of professional advisers when handling inside information:

“We consider that it could never be in the proper course of a person’s employment for him to disclose inside information to a third party, where he knows that his employer and client would not consent to the public disclosure of that information, unless he knows that the recipient is under a duty of confidentiality and that he knows that the recipient understands that to be the case.”

It was not part of the Authority’s case that Mr Hannam deliberately set out to commit market abuse or that Mr Hannam lacked honesty or integrity.

The Tribunal has sought further submissions from Mr Hannam and the Authority on the issue of the appropriate penalty, before reaching a decision on that issue. In the Decision Notice, the Authority decided that it was appropriate to impose a financial penalty of £450,000.

The Tribunal confirmed that the standard of proof applicable in market abuse cases is the civil standard. As well as applying the law on market abuse to the facts of this case, the Tribunal’s decision contains information on market abuse generally, including on the standard of behavior expected of professional advisers when handling inside information.

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