UK watchdog fines, bans bond trader in first gilt rigging case
LONDON, March 20
LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Britain's financial watchdog said on Thursday it has fined bond trader Mark Stevenson 662,700 pounds ($1.10 million) in its first enforcement action for manipulating the UK government bond market.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it has banned Stevenson, who has nearly 30 years' experience, from the industry.
The FCA said Stevenson intended to sell his holding, worth 1.2 billion pounds, to the Bank of England for an artificially high price during quantitative easing (QE) operations on 10 October, 2011.
"His unusual trading was reported within 40 minutes and the Bank decided not to buy that gilt as part of QE," the FCA said in a statement.
"Stevenson's abuse took advantage of a policy designed to boost the economy with no regard for the potential consequences for other market participants and, ultimately, for UK tax payers," FCA director of enforcement, Tracey McDermott said.
($1 = 0.6014 British Pounds) (Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Clare Hutchison)