FSA bans and fines drunk oil trader

1 July 2010

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined and banned a broker who invested in seven million barrels of oil while drunk.

Steven Noel Perkins, an ex-oil futures broker, was fined £72,000 and banned from working within the financial services industry after he made trades on behalf of a client without permission.

He accumulated the 7,000 lots while trading on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in the early morning of June 30th 2009.

As a result of the trades on Brent Crude Futures, the price of the stock rose to an artificial level and gave a misleading impression to the market of their supply and demand.

The investigation found that Mr Perkins had been drinking heavily during the weekend prior to June 30th as well as the day before.

He also lied to PVM Oil Futures, his employer, in an attempt to conceal his actions.

Alexander Justham, director of markets at the FSA, said: "The FSA views market manipulation extremely seriously. Perkins' trading caused disruption to the market and has been met with both a fine and prohibition. This reinforces the fact that a severe sanction will apply in cases of market manipulation, even where no profit is made.

"Perkins' drunkenness does not excuse his market abuse. Perkins has been banned because he is not a fit and proper person to be involved in regulated activities and his behaviour posed a risk to the proper functioning of the market.”

The FSA’s ban has been limited to a minimum of five years as the former trader agreed to join a rehabilitation programme.

By Jim Ottewill

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