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18-170MR Wilsons Advisory pays $35,000 in infringement notice penalties
Wilsons Advisory and Stockbroking Limited (‘Wilsons’) has paid a penalty of $35,000 to comply with an infringement notice given to it by the Markets Disciplinary Panel (‘MDP’).
The MDP found it had reasonable grounds to believe that Wilsons contravened ASIC Market Integrity Rules (Competition in Exchange Markets) 2011 (the ‘Rules’) relating to the provision of regulatory data.
The Rules required a market participant, acting as an agent for a client, to provide a unique reference to the market operator, used to identify the person who provided instructions that resulted in either an order being submitted or a transaction executed. The provision of regulatory data significantly improves the efficiency of ASIC’s surveillance function as it reduces the number of requests for trading information that are sent to market participants.
On 15 November 2016, Wilsons submitted 49 orders to purchase shares on behalf of a client and provided a generic code for the origin of order, instead of the client’s unique account number.
On 3 February 2016, Wilsons reported a transaction in a trade report made to the market operator that correctly provided a unique code for one client’s origin of transaction as a buyer, but incorrectly provided a generic code for another client’s origin of transaction as a seller, instead of the client’s unique account number.
On a further six occasions in May and August 2016, Wilsons reported transactions in trade reports made to the market operator where the regulatory data for the origin of transaction used generic notations to identify their selling clients instead of using the clients' unique account numbers.
The MDP found no evidence of a deliberate attempt by Wilsons to conceal information from ASIC about the origin of orders and transactions.
ASIC Regulatory Guide 223 acknowledges that there may be situations where, having taken reasonable steps, a market participant is still unable to provide a unique notation. However, it is incumbent on the market participant to explore all options reasonably open to it to ensure that its systems and processes are adequate to capture and report the required data to the market operator. This is an ongoing obligation which may require the market participant to enhance their existing systems and processes.
The compliance with the infringement notice is not an admission of guilt or liability, and Wilsons is not taken to have contravened subsection 798H(1) of the Act.