The Financial Conduct Authority on Thursday launched a stinging attack on one of the City's best-known bankers, Ian Hannam, accusing him of providing "incoherent" and "unsatisfactory" answers to a tribunal hearing in London.
Hannam, formerly chairman of investment bank JP Morgan Cazenove, is appealing against being fined £450,000 for insider dealing. However, the FCA said such behaviour may have been repeated.
In a closing written submission, counsel for the City watchdog claimed that Hannam's evidence was "notable for his tendency to make long, somewhat incoherent, speeches and his frequent failure to address the question put to him".
It added "the tribunal does not need to decide whether he was deliberately evasive or simply does not focus, but there there were many occasions when Mr Hannam did not answer a question on a key area".
The FCA said it was quite appropriate to levy the high level of fine against him given the senior role he played in the City and the fact he seemed oblivious to the fact that emails he sent contained market sensitive information.
"The fact that Mr Hannam did not consider that he had done anything wrong and he plainly regards the … emails as normal and legitimate indicates that he is likely to have disclosed insider information in similar circumstances on other occasions."
Among the arguments mounted in return by the legal defence team for Hannam was that the information contained in the critical emails were inaccurate in various respects and therefore could not be considered insider information.
A spokesman for the banker, who quit JP Morgan when the fine was levied and has since started a new boutique investment bank, said last night: "Ian Hannam is respectfully appealing the decision notice because, in summary, he was acting in the proper course of his duties as a an adviser to his client Heritage Oil. He does not believe these emails were inside information and anyway, the recipient, Mr Hawrami, was already an insider and globally respected businessman on the corporate finance side of the Chinese wall. However, this is ultimately for the tribunal to decide." A final decision on the appeal is not expected for some months.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © Lisamarie Babik