Switzerland's financial markets authority said Friday that it has taken action in two separate cases of insider trading and market manipulation, seizing millions of Swiss francs (dollars) of illegal profits and banning three traders from the industry.
The authority, FINMA, said 1.4 million francs in ill-gotten profits were seized from a former corporate board member who "repeatedly and systematically flouted the ban on using non-public information" to trade in shares of premier Swiss companies between 2013 and 2016.
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It marks the first time that FINMA, applying broader authority granted to it in 2013, has sanctioned an individual who is not a banker, insurer or asset manager.
FINMA did not specify the companies or individuals involved, citing legal restrictions, and said the Swiss attorney-general's office has started criminal proceedings. It declined to confirm or deny Swiss media reports that identified the individual as Hans Ziegler, a former board member of industrial groups Schmolz + Bickenbach and Oerlikon.
The other case involved a small proprietary trading company that was operating without a license and altered the market by making large orders in Swiss "blue-chip shares" that were not executed between 2011 and 2015, FINMA said. An investigation looked at 300 cases involving "several dozen" companies,
Three of its traders received industry bans, and the company is being liquidated — a process from which FINMA expects the recovery of more than 1 million francs.