JP Morgan disciplined star banker in 2009: court documents

Tue Jul 2, 2013 11:08am EDT
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By Clara Ferreira-Marques and Clare Hutchison

LONDON (Reuters) - Ian Hannam, one of London's most prominent bankers who is fighting to clear his name after a 2012 fine for market abuse, was disciplined by his bank four years ago over his working practices, according to court documents.

Hannam's employer at the time JP Morgan Cazenove, a JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote) joint-venture, imposed "very significant and extensive restrictions" on Hannam after a disciplinary inquiry in 2009, documents released by Britain's financial regulator showed.

The high-profile case, which began in a London court on Tuesday, tests the mettle of the three-month-old Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a revamped regulator determined to hold to account senior bankers and their employers for market abuse or sloppy controls. It will also fuel a debate about what constitutes inside, or market-moving, information.

The FCA documents said Hannam was banned from December 2009 from initiating or soliciting new business or attending meetings without an "approved person."

He was forced to resign from the JP Morgan Cazenove board and had emails and phone calls monitored, according to the documents. JP Morgan declined to comment.

Hannam, an ex-special forces soldier known for multi-billion-dollar deals that transformed Britain's blue-chip share index, and links to U.S. generals and Iraqi ministers, wants to restore his reputation and overturn the 450,000 pound ($685,100) fine.

The FCA documents said that 57-year-old Hannam had a "relaxed" attitude to disclosure.

Richard Boulton, the leading lawyer for the FCA, told the court that inside information should be easy to spot. "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck."   Continued...

Banker Ian Hannam leaves the High Court in London July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall