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Regulator receives 900,000 trading reports a month (The Irish Times)

04 November 2011

THE FINANCIAL Regulator receives 900,000 trading reports a month from Irish stockbroking firms on share transactions on European stock exchanges, the regulator's chief executive Pat Neary told the Dáil Committee of Public Accounts yesterday.

Mr Neary said that, under an exchange mechanism that enables regulators across Europe to share details on stock transactions, the Irish regulator receives an average of 400,000 share trade reports a month on Irish stocks from other EU regulators and sends out 500,000 reports.

The regulator started monitoring stockbroking firms and share transactions under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which came into effect last November.

The figures highlight the scale of the data that the regulator has to assess as part of its ongoing investigation into suspicious trades in Irish bank shares around the St Patrick's Day weekend.

The regulator said late last month that the investigation into unusual trading patterns, which related to the spreading of false rumours about Anglo Irish Bank and some other stocks, would take some time to complete.

It is examining trades around March 17th when false rumours about Anglo prompted a 15 per cent one-day fall in its share price.

Mr Neary gave an update on the inquiry last month at the launch of regulator's 2007 report. He said: "We have to marry the trades with other records, so there is a lot of ground to cover."

Mr Neary told the committee yesterday that the regulator was reviewing the frequency and duration of its "on-site inspections".