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Trading Firm Fails to Block FSA Market Abuse Fine Report

The president of defunct trading firm Swift Trade Inc. failed in a bid to stop the U.K. Financial Services Authority from publishing details of an 8 million-pound ($13 million) market abuse fine.

Judge Wyn Williams refused to block the U.K. financial watchdog from releasing a decision notice about the May 2011 fine, saying it was already public knowledge.

The Toronto-based company, which was dissolved in December, was fined for engaging in “layering” in which multiple buy orders for shares are submitted and withdrawn to manipulate the price of a security, according to the judge.

“It is in the public domain that they were thought to be engaged in the practice of layering, and that was thought to be market abuse,” said Williams today. “It is not appropriate to grant the injunction.”

The FSA can now release a detailed report on the fine, which it had planned to do at the end of August, when an earlier injunction won by Swift Trade expired.

Chris Hamilton, an FSA spokesman, declined to comment.

Peter Beck, who was president of Toronto-based Swift Trade until its collapse, argued an FSA announcement would reduce the value of his shares, damage his reputation and breach his human rights, said Philip Engelman, Beck’s lawyer.

Swift Trade and Beck, who was not present at court, were also found to have breached securities laws by the Ontario Securities Commission, providing software and an electronic trading system for around 4,500 unregistered traders in 2008, according to a March report. The firm failed to establish proper controls and supervision, adequately monitor its clients’ trading, and produce accurate trading records, the OSC said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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