June 16, 2017 / 2:18 PM / 7 months ago

UK watchdog charges two people for insider dealing

LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) - A former compliance officer at UBS in London, Fabiana Abdel-Malek, has been charged with five counts of insider dealing over a single year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Friday.

Day-trader Walid Anis Choucair has also been charged with five counts of insider dealing, the FCA said in a statement. The alleged insider dealing took place between June 2, 2013, and June 19, 2014.

Abdel-Malek and Choucair both appeared before City of London Magistrates’ Court on Friday. They have not entered any plea as they are due to appear at Southwark Crown Court in London in July for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

Lawyers representing Abdel-Malek and Choucair had no immediate comment.

UBS said it had been working with the FCA in relation to its investigation. “As part of the investigation, the FCA asked us to provide information in relation to a sole, mid-level, former employee based in London,” the Swiss bank said in a statement. “As this is an ongoing criminal prosecution, and to avoid the risk of prejudicing the course of justice, we are unable to comment further,” the bank said.

The FCA has been taking steps to crack down harder on insider dealing, a criminal offence which is now punishable by a fine, or up to seven years in prison.

The charges followed a joint investigation with the National Crime Agency, a rare collaboration which the FCA declined to comment on.

Reporting by Huw Jones. Editing by Jane Merriman

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