The news comes as the FSA’s markets division launches a review of the systems and controls that firms have in place for dealing with market rumours.
The regulator’s investigation, which was conducted by its enforcement, markets, supervision and intelligence division, found that while the rumours would have had some impact on HBOS’ share price, there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
On March 19, rumours circulated alleging that the bank faced funding difficulties.
Some market commentators speculated that the fall in the HBOS share price was the result of unscrupulous traders who spread false rumours to make unjustified profits. The FSA’s review of firms’ systems and controls for dealing with rumours will cover what policies are in place, how firms ensure compliance with them and how rumours are verified. It will examine whether traders are permitted to pass on or trade on rumours and how firms ensure that staff do not initiate or spread false rumours.
The regulator says: “This exercise is covering a range of investment banks, securities firms and hedge fund managers. We will communicate our findings to the market in the early autumn.”