The FCA have published their 63rd Market Watch Newsletter, looking at market conduct and transaction reporting issues in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In the newsletter, the FCA set out their expectations of market conduct in the context of increased capital raising events and alternative working arrangements due to coronavirus. They have also published a Primary Market Bulletin 28 which provides an update for listed companies on an extension to the timetable for publication of half-yearly financial reports.
With regards to market conduct and discipline, the FCA urge firms to continue to maintain high standards of conduct throughout this period, ensuring that:
Inside information continues to be appropriately identified and handled, and is appropriately disclosed so that investors are not misled;
market surveillance and suspicious transaction and order reporting (STORs) continues to be carried out, particularly in the context of changes in market conditions and the current use of alternative working arrangements;
transparency and short position covering requirements continue to be met under the Short Selling Regulation (SSR);
and conflicts of interest that may arise around capital raising events are identified and managed appropriately.
The FCA will continue to use their range of powers to monitor, make enquiries, investigate, and if necessary take enforcement action to protect the integrity and orderly functioning of the market.
“We expect all market participants, including issuers, advisors and anyone handling inside information to continue to act in a manner that supports the integrity and orderly functioning of financial markets. This includes complying with all their obligations under relevant regulation including the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR)." FCA Market Watch Newsletter, No. 63, May 2020.
If you are unsure about whether you are appropriately managing your market conduct during this period, SteelEye can provide both support and guidance. Our Trade Surveillance and Market Abuse Detection, combined with our Conduct and Communications Surveillance, can also be onboarded quickly to allow you to monitor all your trades, orders and communications in real time to detect, mitigate and prevent any potential breaches.
In regard to transaction reporting issues, the FCA has confirmed in their 28th Primary Market Bulletin that there will be additional temporary relief for listed companies facing the challenges of corporate reporting during the coronavirus crisis.
This temporary delay permits listed companies an additional month to publish their half yearly financial reports, which otherwise would need to be published no later than 3 months from the end of the period to which the report relates.