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. 

The Treasury has given UK financial regulators the power to make transitional provisions to financial services legislation at the end of the transition period. This is known as the Temporary Transitional Power (TTP).
We intend to apply the TTP on a broad basis. However, there are some areas where we will not apply the TTP, including to key requirements for the UK Market Abuse Regulation. Firms are expected to comply with these key requirements by 31 December 2020.


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

Find out how to report suspected market abuse as a firm or trading venue subject to the requirements of Article 16 of the Market Abuse Regulation.

Find out how to report a market abuse concern as an individual.

Email queries about the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) to [email protected].

Submit notifications about buy-back programmes or stabilisation by email 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.

    Page updates

    26/10/2020: Information added TTP update at the start of the page