UK watchdog’s hedge fund fine shows blunter teeth

1 minute read

A man points a computer screen showing stock information in this illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, France, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

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LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s financial regulator is looking like a low-impact version of its American cousin. The Financial Conduct Authority has fined hedge fund BlueCrest Capital 41 million pounds for conflict of interest failings in setting up a fund for staff. Its gripe, relating back to 2011 to 2015, was with money managers switching from running an external fund to the staff-only structure without proper processes.

BlueCrest had already agreed to a fine from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the breaches a year ago, without admitting or denying the findings. At $170 million, the SEC penalty was more than three times the FCA’s. The latter’s findings are also provisional, allowing billionaire Michael Platt’s fund to take it straight to a tribunal. Granted, the FCA also called on the British-American fund to compensate affected clients. Even so, the British watchdog still appears to have less bite. (By Dasha Afanasieva)

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