Market abuse

Certain types of behaviour, such as insider dealing and market manipulation, can amount to market abuse. Firms must have safeguards in place to identify and reduce the risk of market abuse and other financial crime. 

Preventing, detecting and punishing market abuse is a high priority for us. It is important in fulfilling our statutory objectives of protecting consumers, enhancing market integrity and promoting competition.

We work closely with the financial services industry, law enforcement agencies and other regulators to combat market abuse and other related financial crime. We also aim to educate market participants.

The Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) took effect across the EU on 3 July 2016. 

Market abuse offences

MAR makes insider dealing, unlawful disclosure, market manipulation and attempted manipulation civil offences and gives us powers and responsibilities for preventing and detecting market abuse.

Find out more about the Market Abuse Regulation

Criminal insider dealing is an offence under Part V of the Criminal Justice Act 1993, and criminal market manipulation is an offence under sections 89-91 of the Financial Services Act 2012. 

Prevention and detection

We work closely with the financial services industry to identify and prevent market abuse.

We also undertake our own surveillance of financial markets and have systems for identifying insider dealing and market manipulation in various financial markets. This includes analysing transaction reporting data, order book data, benchmark submission and other market data, which significantly helps us in detecting market abuse. 

Also, our market monitoring department is in regular contact with trading firms, market operators and investors to identify suspicious trading. 

Firms and operators of a trading venue must identify and reduce the risk of market abuse, report it to us under the suspicious transaction and order reporting (STOR) regime and our other relevant rules. 

Enforcement and penalties

We take enforcement action against market abuse and can impose significant penalties.

For breaches of MAR we can impose unlimited fines, order injunctions, or prohibit regulated firms or approved persons.

Criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market manipulation can incur custodial sentences of up to 7 years and unlimited fines.

See our list of final notices and related press releases for more on the action we have taken over market abuse.

Find out more about our enforcement process and powers.

Report market abuse or contact us

Firms and trading venues can complete and submit a suspicious transaction and order report (STOR) using our secure Connect portal. Find out more about STORs and how to submit one.

To confidentially report to our whistleblowing team that a firm or individual is involved in market abuse or other wrongdoing, email [email protected] or call 020 7066 9200. Find out more about whistleblowing.

To submit notifications about buy-back programmes or stabilisation, you should email [email protected]

Consumers concerned about market abuse or with other related queries can call 0800 111 6768 (freephone) or see other ways to contact us.

If you are not a firm, trading venue, whistleblower or consumer but want to contact us about market abuse you can email [email protected]. Note we review all emails but cannot discuss further details with you.

Queries about the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) should be emailed to [email protected].

Reporting requirements

Under MAR, firms and individuals must make the following notifications to us:

Responding to requests for insider lists

Issuers of financial instruments, emission allowance market participants (EAMPs) and parties involved in the relevant auctions that fall within the scope of the Market Abuse Regulation will be required to transmit their insider lists to us on request. We have a secure system for transmission that will enable issuers or their nominees, EAMPs and parties involved in the relevant auctions to respond to requests for insider lists using a secure electronic system.

This system will be free to use and give sufficient security to protect the personal data in insider lists. Details of the transmission method will be provided to issuers or their nominees, EAMPs and parties involved in the relevant auctions as part of any information request we make.  

Market Watch

Our Market Watch newsletter looks at market abuse risks, transaction reporting, suspicious transaction and order reporting, and other market conduct issues. It can help regulated firms and other non-regulated market users understand more about these areas and relevant practices to consider.

Market Watch 50 discusses further observations from our suspicious transaction reporting (STR) visits, and reminds firms of their obligations under SUP 17 of our Handbook regarding transaction reporting.

See all editions of Market Watch.