Merrill Lynch fined $45.5M for failing to report transactions

By Sara Shayanian  |  Oct. 23, 2017 at 10:49 AM
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Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Bank of America's Merrill Lynch was fined $45.5 million by Britain for failing to report two years worth of exchange-traded derivatives transactions.

Merrill Lynch the first bank in Britain to pay a penalty on that type under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation.

The bank, between Feb. 2014 and Feb. 2016, failed to report 68.5 million exchange-traded derivative transactions.

Reporting exchange-traded derivative transactions is important because it helps authorities assess and address the risks in financial systems caused by a lack of transparency.

The reporting requirement, that came into force in 2012, was one of the key reforms introduced following the 2008 financial crisis to help improve transparency.

"Effective market oversight depends on accurate and timely reporting of transactions. The obligations under EMIR, as with MiFID, are key aspects of such oversight," Mark Steward, an executive director at Britain's Financial Conduct Authority, said in the statement.

"It is vital that reporting firms ensure their transaction reporting systems are tested as fit for purpose, adequately resourced and perform properly. There needs to be a line in the sand. We will continue to take appropriate action against any firm that fails to meet requirements."

Bank of America also responded to the fine on Monday, "When we discovered that certain trades had not been fully reported to a trade repository ... we immediately reported the matter to the FCA," Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said.

"We have re-evaluated and improved our related processes and can confirm that no clients were financially impacted as a result."

Merrill Lynch agreed to settle at an early stage of the investigation and was subsequently fined 30 percent less than originally planned.

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