FCA seeks to ban cleared trader

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The Financial Conduct Authority is seeking to ban a trader over his conduct during an Upper Tribunal hearing which cleared him of market abuse.

In November, the Upper Tribunal found Mizuho International proprietary trader David Hobbs had not committed market abuse in instructing Sucden broker Andrew Kerr to buy coffee futures. At the time, Kerr agreed a settlement with the FSA on the basis that his part in the deal did amount to market abuse.

But in its ruling in favour of Hobbs, the Upper Tribunal noted Hobbs was an “unsatisfactory witness”, who gave “evasive and less than frank responses” during questioning, and had emerged from the hearing “with very little credit”.

The FSA then sought an appeal to ban Hobbs on the basis of his conduct during the Upper Tribunal hearing.

Yesterday, the regulator announced the Court of Appeal has allowed the issue to be referred back to the Upper Tribunal for further investigation.

An FCA spokesperson says: “We welcome the Court of Appeal’s decision. It has remitted the matter to the Tribunal for it to decide whether in light of the findings made by the Tribunal regarding Mr Hobb’s conduct during the investigatory and Tribunal process, a prohibition order should be imposed on Mr Hobbs.”

The regulator has not appealed the decision that market abuse was not committed by Hobbs.

In August 2011, the FSA charged former Mizuho International investment banker Thomas Ammann and two associates with insider dealing.