British watchdog warns Banque Havilland over Qatar bond presentation


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DUBAI — Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Tuesday it had warned Luxembourg-based Banque Havilland about a presentation by the bank in 2017 which the regulator said included advice on “manipulative” practices in the trading of Qatari bonds.

The FCA said in an advisory that its warning, issued in October 2021, said the bank breached the body’s principles for businesses by creating and disseminating the document.

There is usually a delay in releasing details of enforcement cases by the FCA to allow those involved to dispute any allegations.


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The presentation “sets out a number of actions that could be taken to harm Qatar’s economy by using manipulative business practices aimed at creating a false or misleading impression as to the market or the price of Qatari bonds,” the FCA said. . .

The FCA said the presentation gave “inappropriate advice”.

Qatari authorities did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Banque Havilland said in an emailed statement that the FCA’s Warning Statement (WNS) referred to historic allegations of misconduct at the bank’s London premises in 2017.

“Currently, no finding has been made by the FCA and the issues mentioned in the WNS are being contested by the bank through the FCA’s internal process,” the bank said, adding that no one mentioned remained at the bank.


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The bank said it would not offer further comment while the FCA’s internal process continues.

Bank Havilland denied in 2019 taking any action to weaken Qatar’s economy after Doha sued https:/ / against three banks, including Havilland, in London and New York, accusing them of foreign currency manipulation.

The lawsuits were filed during a period of regional tension after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar in mid-2017. The diplomatic dispute was resolved in January 2020.

The FCA said Banque Havilland and affected individuals had the right to make representations to its Regulatory Decisions Committee which would decide on the appropriate action and whether to issue notice of the decision.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Edmund Blair)



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