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Champagne-swilling UK trader faces FSA probe
April 5, 2012 / 5:22 PM / 6 years ago

Champagne-swilling UK trader faces FSA probe

* Alex Hope not available for comment

* Arrest related to suspected unauthorised forex trading scheme

* UK tabloids printed Hope photo in March after nightclub outing

* Hope spent 125,000 stg on one bottle of champagne -tabloids

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - Alex Hope, a 23-year old foreign exchange trader who made headlines last month for splashing out 125,000 pounds ($198,400) on a single bottle of champagne, is being investigated over an alleged unauthorised trading scheme.

Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulator said earlier this week that police had arrested a 23-year old on suspicion of carrying out an unauthorised foreign exchange trading scheme and committing offences under the 2006 Fraud Act.

The FSA did not name the individual, but sources with knowledge of the matter said it was Hope. Reuters left messages with Hope’s public relations agency, but did not receive a reply.

The probe centres on whether Hope was trading only for himself or on behalf of other people. The FSA’s rules demand an FSA licence to trade on behalf of other people.

The FSA said on Thursday that the individual had been released on police bail pending further inquiries. It added that no-one else had been arrested and that the arrest was not linked to any other FSA investigations.

TABLOID BACKLASH OVER DRINKS BILL

Hope's website (www.alexhopefx.com/about-alex) and Twitter pages (twitter.com/#!/alexhopefx) were not working on Thursday afternoon.

“Watch out trading markets, Alex Hope is kicking up a storm!,” his website had previously said.

Hope’s photo was splashed across Britain’s tabloid papers in March, after he was found to have racked up a drinks bill of more than 200,000 pounds at Liverpool nightclub Playground.

The bill included 125,000 pounds spent on a bottle of Armand de Brignac champagne.

($1 = 0.6300 British pounds)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Callus

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