FCA fines ex-Jefferies banker over ‘boasting’ WhatsApp messages

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UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority has slapped a fine of over £37,000 on a former investment banker from Jefferies for sharing confidential information over messaging service WhatsApp.

The FCA says it found Christopher Niehaus, a managing director at the firm described as “an experienced industry professional”, shared client information “because he wanted to impress the people that he shared the information with”.

The details of the information he shared included the identity of the client, the details relating to the client mandate and the fee Jefferies would charge for their involvement in the transaction. Mr Niehaus also boasted about how he may be able to pay off his mortgage if one of the deals was successful.

The fine was imposed even though, as the FCA says, there was “little risk of loss to consumers, investors or other market users” and although Mr Niehaus made no profit, and avoided no loss, as a result of his messages.

Jefferies declined to comment.

Here is the statement and here is more detail from the FCA.

(Additional reporting by Chloe Cornish.)

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