FCA fines Sigma Broking Limited £530,000 and bans and fines its former directors following market abuse reporting failures

Sigma Broking Limited (Sigma) has been fined £531,000 for failing to make reports crucial in fighting potential market abuse and three directors have been fined amounts totalling over £200,000, two of whom have also been prohibited.

Between December 2014 and August 2016, Sigma did not report, or failed to report accurately, 56,000 contracts for difference (CFD) transactions to the FCA. It also failed to identify 97 suspicious transactions or orders that it should have reported to the FCA.

Many of Sigma’s failings had their origins in the inadequate governance and oversight provided by Sigma’s board of directors. As a result, the FCA has issued prohibitions against two of Sigma’s directors, Simon Tyson (former Chief Executive and director) and Stephen Tomlin (former director), preventing them from holding significant management functions in firms regulated by the FCA. They have also been fined £67,900 and £69,600, respectively.  

Matthew Kent, a current director, has also been fined £83,600. 

Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said:  

'Firms must accurately report their transactions and bring any suspicious activity to our attention. Sigma failed to do this, which left potential market abuse undetected. Those failures came from the top and two directors have been banned from holding senior positions in financial services, as a result.  

Accurate transaction reporting and effective surveillance are crucial tools in identifying dodgy dealing that undermines clean markets. These bans and the scale of the fines we have imposed demonstrate our determination to ensure firms – and those who lead them – meet the reporting standards we expect.'

Notes to editors

  1. Sigma is a privately owned brokerage firm which offers customers access to worldwide trading in products including equities, derivatives and commodities.

  2. Final notice for Sigma Broking Limited.

  3. Final notice for Simon Tyson.

  4. Final notice for Stephen Tomlin.

  5. Final notice for Matthew Kent.

  6. Mark Steward, the FCA’s Executive Director for Enforcement and Market Oversight, gave a speech on how the FCA is tackling market abuse in March 2021. 

  7. Find out more information about the FCA.