Top banker to appeal after being fined £450,000 by the FSA

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ONE of London’s most prominent bankers was fined £450,000 for passing on inside information in a case that will embarrass his employer JP Morgan Cazenove and which marks a new resolve by authorities to target high-profile figures.

Top dealmaker Ian Hannam resigned to fight the fine imposed by the Financial Services Authority in relation to 2008 emails that contained information about his client, oil company Heritage Oil.

The former special forces soldier and engineer is the fifth person to be fined this year by the FSA, which had previously been accused of ineffectiveness.

JP Morgan informed staff in an internal memo of Mr Hannam’s resignation from his position as JP Morgan’s Global Chairman of Equity Capital Markets, after two decades at the firm.

Mr Hannam, a veteran banker with a focus on mining and commodities and whose current deals include advising miner Xstrata on its merger with Glencore, said he had fully cooperated with the FSA and would appeal against the decision.

“I will complete my current client commitments and ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities,” he said. “Appealing the case while still at the firm would be an unfair distraction to my clients and colleagues.”

The FSA said that Mr Hannam had disclosed inside information on Heritage, which had mandated JP Morgan in 2007 to secure a “substantial” corporate transaction

The case is a fresh blow for the reputation of investment banking, as Mr Hannam joins the list of big names targeted by the FSA, which is seeking to clamp down on market abuse and insider dealing.