FIA Releases Market Abuse Guidelines

The Futures Industry Association (FIA) has released new guidelines to assist market participants in fulfilling obligations set by UK and European regulators in relation to surveillance and market abuse requirements.

Under the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and the Criminal Sanctions for Market Abuse Directive, market participants in Europe are subject to prescriptive requirements relating to monitoring, surveillance systems and the filing of suspicious transaction and order reports (STORs).

The guidelines aim to provide a useful implementation standard for these requirements, and in particular the surveillance systems and controls that are required under Article 16 of MAR. FIA says the guidelines are not meant to be one-size-fits-all but rather should be considered in conjunction with a market participant’s size, scale and strategy.

It adds the guidelines are primarily intended to assist market participants based in the UK and are based on both EU and UK regulations and regulatory guidance. They describe the requirements that apply to market participants and discuss in detail the specific elements of a compliance programme, including risk assessments, surveillance systems, suspicious transaction and order reports, client relationship management, audit and annual review, training, documentation, oversight, and record-keeping.

While the guidelines are designed to help companies comply with regulatory obligations, FIA says it is important to highlight that the guidelines do not constitute regulatory rules or formal regulatory guidance. Rather, they have been designed to assist members with the interpretation of, and evidencing compliance with, MAR, and have not been endorsed by the UK Financial Conduct Authority or any other regulator. Market participants should consult with their legal advisors on compliance requirements specific to their firm and circumstances.

“Market abuse is a global concern and global regulators consider market participants to be the ‘first line of defence’ in the identification and prevention of market abuse,” says FIA’s head of Europe Bruce Savage. “Our goal is to help FIA members and other market participants meet their obligations under the Market Abuse Regulation.”

Colin Lambert

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