FSA fines analyst for ‘careless message’

14 January 2011

A former research analyst has been fined £50,000 for making “misleading and inaccurate disclosures” about Enterprise Inns to markets.

Christopher Gower, analyst with MF Global Securities, was penalised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for making the disclosure to a Bloomberg reporter, 14 MF Global clients and MF Global equity salesmen via Bloomberg’s instant messaging service.

The message contained inaccurate information relating to a meeting the analyst had attended where an application by Enterprise Inn to become a Real Estate Investment Trust had been discussed.

According to the FSA, Gower gave the impression that his message contained inside information when this was not the case.

Margaret Cole, the FSA’s managing director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “There is no excuse for a senior retail analyst to be so careless with messages that could have such an impact on the market.

“Gower's dissemination of inaccurate information contributed to a large increase in the volume of shares traded and a disorderly market in ETI shares.”

The FSA said it imposed the fine as the former analyst failed to follow the correct market conduct.

By Jim Ottewill

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