Market-Abuse Penalties Too Disparate Across EU, Regulator Says

European financial regulators should do more to harmonize penalties for insider-traders and market manipulators, the region’s top markets regulator said.

Fines for insider-trading have ranged from 64 euros ($84) to 6 million euros across the European Union’s 27 member states, according to a report by the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority. Meanwhile, the number of staff at national supervisors dedicated to market enforcement ranged from two to 127, ESMA said in the study.

“While most authorities have made use” of market-abuse sanctions “differences remain in their availability, regulators’ ability to use them and the allocation of re-sources,” Steven Maijoor, chairman of ESMA, said in an e-mailed statement.

The European Commission is currently reviewing the region’s Market Abuse Directive as part of an overhaul of financial regulation following the 2008 financial crisis and national supervisors are cracking down on abuse. David Einhorn, chairman of Greenlight Capital Inc. was fined 3.6 million pounds ($5.8 million) by the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority in January for trading on inside information.

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