How to report suspected market abuse as a firm or trading venue

Find out more about suspicious transaction and order reports (STORs), and how to submit a STOR or a market observation. 

Suspicious transaction and order reports

UK trading venues must detect and report suspicious transactions and orders to us without delay via STORs.

Firms (and individuals) who are persons professionally arranging or executing transactions must also detect and report suspicious transactions and orders to us without delay via STORs. Such persons must report STORs to us if they are registered or have their head office in the UK or, in the case of a branch, if the branch is situated in the UK. 

A suspicious transaction or order is one where there are ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect it might be market abuse, such as insider dealing or market manipulation.

Firms and trading venues should make sure that staff, especially those responsible for managing financial crime risks, are given training to identify suspicious transactions and orders.

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR)

The EU Market Abuse Regulation (EU MAR) came into effect on 3 July 2016 and was onshored into UK law on 31 December 2020 by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

Changes to the regulation were made by the Market Abuse Exit Regulations 2019, to ensure that the onshored legislation (UK MAR) operates effectively in the UK.

The EU implementing measures for MAR were also onshored into UK law on 31 December 2020 by the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and were amended by FCA 2019/45.

Changes to our Handbook were made by FCA 2019/23 regarding the Market Conduct sourcebook, and by FCA 2019/26 regarding the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules sourcebook.

Reporting suspicious orders and transactions

Firms and trading venues must report suspicious ‘orders’ as well as suspicious transactions and 'attempted market abuse'.

In December 2018, we updated the Financial Crime Guide with a chapter on insider dealing and market manipulation. Chapter 8 provides guidance to firms on their obligations to counter the risk of financial crime, as it relates to insider dealing and market manipulation.

You should only use STORs to report potential market abuse under Article 16 of UK MAR. Don’t use them to report other types of suspicion or incidents that are not considered market abuse as defined in UK MAR.

Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) are governed by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Terrorism Act 2000, and do not fall under our market abuse regime. The National Crime Agency (NCA) has more on SARs.

How to submit a STOR

Log in to Connect and complete the STOR form to report a STOR to us.

Please make sure the form is completed in full. Include all relevant information in the body of the STOR, including the basis for reporting the STOR. Add attachments for trade data, graphs and any other relevant documents in section 6 of the form.

Firms and trading venues with questions about how to complete or submit a STOR can call our STOR helpline on 020 7066 5577 or email [email protected]. We cannot advise firms on whether to submit a STOR, as the decision is the responsibility of firms.

Find out how to fill in and submit a STOR using Connect.

How to submit a market observation

Firms and trading venues may want to notify us of activity they have observed in the market that isn’t required as a STOR. For example, the firm or trading venue isn’t involved in the activity and therefore doesn’t have complete information. In these cases, please submit a market observation.

To do this, log in to Connect and complete the market observation form under ‘Notifications’.

Please complete it in full, making sure you include why you are making the report.

If you have any questions, please call our STOR helpline on 020 7066 5577 or email [email protected].

Do not use this to submit a STOR – if you do, we will contact you to submit the correct form.

Market Watch

Our Market Watch newsletter looks at suspicious transaction and order reporting, market abuse risks, transaction reporting and other market conduct issues. 

Market Watch 48, 50 and 56 include observations from our STR and STOR supervisory visits.

See all editions of Market Watch

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