FCA records fewer suspicious reports during 2019

The FCA has published its suspicious transaction and order reports (STORs) figures for 2019, which showed the first decrease in the total number of reports since 2016.

The FCA’s STOR regime requires market participants to identify and report suspicions of potential market abuse to the regulator, which suggested high quality STORs are an ‘important intelligence source’ and assist in its identification of harm in financial markets.

Across 2019, there were 4,623 reports of insider dealing, 822 concerning manipulation, and a further 10 reports to bring the 2019 total to 5,455 STORs. By comparison, the FCA had reported 5,926 reports in 2018.

The FCA suggested its first recorded annual decrease for the number of STORs could be that it observed some firms taking ‘more robust steps’ to tackle financial crime risks following its publication of a guide in December 2018.

In a statement, the regulator said: “We highlighted firms’ obligations to counter the risk of being used to further financial crime, including the criminal offences of insider dealing and market manipulation.

“The steps taken by some firms, since then, include reviewing the suitability of clients whose trading may otherwise have been subject of a STOR and restricting their access to financial markets where appropriate. We believe these restrictions have resulted in less suspicious activity being facilitated by these firms, and consequently a reduction in STORs.”

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