Swiss bourse fines Swissquote over ad hoc publicity

abdelaziz Fathi

Swiss bourse operator SIX Group’s Sanctions Commission fined Swissquote Group, Switzerland’s provider of online trading services, for violating rules on ad hoc publicity.

Swissquote

The sanction came because Swissquote published the ad hoc announcement on 16 June 2021 “Thanks to outstanding growth, Swissquote expects record half-year results”. The broker says this press release was sent to SIX Exchange Regulation as well as to the media in “a timely manner.” But, citing a technical issue, the mailing of the press release to the persons registered on the Swissquote portal was carried out a bit late on the same day.

The commission opened an investigation into a possible breach of the stock exchange’s rules on ad hoc publicity. A preliminary enquiry has revealed that there are insufficient indications of a regulatory violation relating to corporate governance.

After completing its investigation, the sanctions commission found that Swissquote’s violation of the rules on ad hoc publicity was not “as severe as SIX Exchange Regulation had assessed.” As a result, SER reduced the amount of the proposed fine from CHF 125,000 to CHF 75,000. Swissquote will not appeal against the decision.

In an emailed statement, Swissquote said the SIX Sanctions Commission indicated in its decision that “it had not understood why SIX Exchange Regulation needed almost one year after the event and the start of the preliminary investigation to open the formal investigation.”

The SIX’s rules on ad hoc publicity require listed companies to immediately disclose price-sensitive facts to the public. Under certain circumstances, the disclosure may be temporarily postponed, but if the information was untimely leaked to the public, a media release must be published at the same time.

Swissquote was in the news recently after it received approval from CySEC to operate as a market-making Cyprus investment firm. The licence provides yet another regulatory stamp for the online bank’s offering, which includes digital assets and cryptocurrencies, in Cyprus and Europe.

Operating under the Cysec umbrella allows the new subsidiary, Swissquote Capital Markets Ltd (CY), to leverage its new regulatory profile to expand its services into the European Markets. Cyprus has long positioned itself as a jurisdiction that is well-regulated and is ideal for international FX providers that are looking for a stamp of European approval.

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