Britain’s financial watchdog has fined Merrill Lynch International £34.5 million for failing to report 68.5 million exchange traded derivative transactions, in what the watchdog said was the first fine of its kind.
The Financial Conduct Authority said the fine was related to unreported transactions that took place between February 12, 2014 and February 6, 2016 and was the first enforcement against a firm for this kind of activity under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).
The fine for Merrill Lynch International had been cut down by 30% after the firm agreed to settle during an early stage of the investigation.
Without that discount, the firm would have faced a fine worth £49.3 million, the FCA said.
Mark Steward, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight said: “It is vital that reporting firms ensure their transaction reporting systems are tested as fit for purpose, adequately resourced and perform properly.
“There needs to be a line in the sand.
“We will continue to take appropriate action against any firm that fails to meet requirements.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a statement that it had self-reported the issue to the UK watchdog, and assured that none of its clients have taken a financial hit.
“We are wholly committed to complying with all applicable regulatory requirements.
“When we discovered that certain trades had not been fully reported to a trade repository, as required following the introduction of EMIR, we immediately reported the matter to the FCA.
“We have re-evaluated and improved our related processes and can confirm that no clients were financially impacted as a result.”