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Key Factors Shaping Market Abuse Regulations

During 2020, many factors have shaped the regulations and enforcement actions to maintain market integrity and place the interests of clients ahead of firms and individuals. In addition to the challenges faced by compliance and risk departments, the number of people trading worldwide has risen, pressuring regulators and compliance departments to quickly act to monitor conflicts of interest and prevent individuals from taking market advantage.

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MNPI Remains a High Risk Area for Compliance

Failing to adequately manage Material Non-Public Information (MNPI) remains a high risk area for compliance, as evidenced by recent actions in the U.S. and the U.K. A private equity firm paid $1 million to settle SEC charges for failing to implement effective Insider Trading compliance policies. The FCA published a Decision Notice fining a former CEO £658,900 for market abuse and banning him from future roles linked to regulated activity.

To avoid hefty fines and actions, firms must have comprehensive and actionable policies and procedures around the management of MNPI and insider lists to minimize risk.

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RegTech Rescuing Financial Services

According to a 2019 survey financial institutions, especially banks, are falling behind when applying digital transformation to conduct risk management. The current situation shone a light on the lack of technology to monitor employees' activities, regulations, conflicts of interest and conduct risk across organizations. During the pandemic, risk and compliance departments were struggling to manage risks, provide reporting and comply with regulations. All that drove even more attention to the need for RegTech solutions in financial services.

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ESMA Reports Increase in EU Market Abuse Penalties

ESMA published its annual report on December 21, summarising administrative and criminal sanctions and other measures imposed under the Market Abuse Regulation in 2019. A sum of 279 administrative sanctions and measures and 60 criminal sanctions were imposed for infringements of MAR in 2019. The total value of the penalties exceeds €88 million.

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2020: A Great Year of Webinars

2020 was a different year, but some things never change. MCO once again hosted several webinars to update compliance and risk professionals on the latest regulations, enforcements and industry best practices. Here are some of the highlights of what we learned from our expert speakers in 2020.

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