JP Morgan disciplined star banker in 2009 over emails

Tue Jul 2, 2013 1:59pm 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.

JP Morgan Cazenove (JPM.N: Quote), Hannam's employer at the time, imposed "very significant and extensive restrictions" on him 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.

JP Morgan Cazenove's disciplinary action against Hannam related in part to a number of emails, including two emails at the centre of the case.

JP Morgan declined to comment.

The FCA's predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), had alleged Hannam sent the two emails on behalf of a client, Heritage Oil HOIL.L, in September and October 2008, which included potential inside information.

Both emails were sent to Kurdish oil minister Ashti Hawrami. The first, which referred to a potential offer for Heritage and a price, did not name a buyer. The second mentioned an oil find.

The FCA documents alleged that Heritage was forced to issue an announcement about bid talks nine days after the September email because the UK Takeover Panel regulator noticed "untoward movement" in Heritage's share price.   Continued...

 
A woman walks past JP Morgan Chase's international headquarters on Park Avenue in New York July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton