The FCA published its suspicious transaction and order reports (STORs) figures for the year ending December 2019. The STOR regime, which acts as an important intelligence source for the FCA by assisting in its identification of harm in financial markets, requires market participants to identify and report suspicions of potential market abuse to the FCA.
The figures for 2019 show the first decrease in the total number of reports since 2015. The FCA believes that one of the reasons for the decrease is due to some firms taking more robust steps to tackle financial crime risks, following the publication of chapter 8 of the Financial Crime Guide in December 2018 and the FCA’s associated supervisory activity. The steps taken by some firms have included reviewing the suitability of clients whose trading may otherwise have been subject of a STOR and restricting their access to financial markets where appropriate.
Despite the overall decrease, the 2019 figures show that the number of commodity and fixed income STORs have continued to rise. The FCA is therefore encouraging firms to continue developing their detection and surveillance capabilities in both areas.
There has also been an increase in the number of market observations received by the FCA, following the launch of the Market Observation form in 2019. This form allows information about market activity which firms have observed, which is not necessarily appropriate as a STOR, to be submitted to the FCA.
The 2019 STOR figures can be found here.