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FCA fines UK investment arm of failed Portuguese bank £231k

The FCA has fined the London-based investment-banking arm of failed Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo £231,000 for technical violations.

Execution Noble & Company, trading as Banco Espirito Santo de Investimento, has been fined for violating share listings rules. 

The firm had its sponsor status suspended by the FCA in December.

As a registered sponsor, BESI provided services to firms launching their shares onto equity capital markets. The firm also provides equity trading services in European and Latin American stocks, as well as an advisory service.

The firm failed to tell the FCA’s UK Listing Authority that two thirds of its sponsor team – including the individuals responsible for leading and executing sponsor services – had left between June and November 2013, and continued to market itself as a competent sponsor throughout this period.

The regulator says the firm failed to be open and cooperative in its dealings with the FCA. 

It is the first time the FCA has used its power to fine sponsors, which was introduced in 2013.

Acting FCA director of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philippou says: “Sponsors perform a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the premium listed equity market by providing expert guidance on the listing rules and key regulatory assurances to the FCA.

“It is vital that the regulator, issuers and investors have confidence in sponsors, and we rely on them having an open and co-operative relationship with us. All sponsors should take note of the consequences if they fail to notify us of material information on time.”

BESI – the ‘good bank’ created out of the collapse of Banco Espirito Santo last year – was acquired by Chinese brokerage Haitong Securities for £297m last month.

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