A metal trader who was set to be fined and banned by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for market abuse will now only be censured after the intervention of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber).
Last June, the FSA proposed fining Jason Geddis £25,000 and making a prohibition order preventing him from performing any function in relation to any regulated activities for securing the price of lead contracts on the London Metal Exchange (LME) at an abnormal and artificial level.
A trader at Dresdner Kleinwort Limited, Geddis had rapidly built up a position in a particular lead contract in the course of the morning of 21 November 2008 then unwound this position in the course of the LME's open outcry session, at rapidly increasing prices.
In its decision notice, the FSA said Geddis deliberately squeezed the market in the contract in question in order to secure substantial profits for his firm.
However, although the Tribunal determined Geddis' conduct in creating a disorderly market fell below the proper standard of care, it said it was not a failure of integrity.
It said: "We disagree with the Authority's decision on prohibition. Mr Geddis had been involved in the market for 20 years without any compliance problems. He demonstrated a lack of care resulting in a disorderly market on a single occasion, in a manner which we are sure he will never repeat.
"He has learned his lesson. In our view he is fit and proper, and no
prohibition order is justified."
The Tribunal also said a fine would not be appropriate as Geddis has already suffered "very substantial financial detriment as a result of his error".
He was made redundant in December 2009 and, according to the Tribunal, has been unable to find other employment sufficient to meet his outgoings because of the ongoing investigation.
£300bn of liabilities
View from the front row
Transfer from occupational scheme
Appointed by FCA and PSR boards