U.K Financial Services and Markets Tribunal Upholds Findings of Market Abuse Against Individuals for Using Inside Information to Make Spread Bets

In a rare, circumstantial case for the U.K., a London tribunal has found that two close friends colluded in using confidential information to make quick profits from so-called spread betting.  On December 29, 2009, the U.K.’s Financial Services and Markets Tribunal (Tribunal), an executive agency of the U.K. Ministry of Justice which rules on disputes between the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and individuals and firms facing regulatory action, upheld the FSA’s case against Robin Chhabra and Sameer Patel.  In confirming the FSA’s findings, the Tribunal agreed that both Chhabra and Patel had engaged in market abuse under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 because Patel placed bets “on the basis of restricted information not generally available which was disclosed to him by Chhabra.”  This article analyzes the Tribunal’s decision including the facts of the civil case, the relevant laws and arguments made by the parties.

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