WPP approaches FCA to confirm compliance with insider information laws

WPP approaches FCA to confirm compliance with insider information laws

WPP has reached out to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in order to ascertain whether it is in breach of rules surrounding insider information, in a case relating to a sum of company money allegedly misused by Sir Martin Sorrell.

Reports in the Guardian suggest that the regulatory body was contacted by the advertising giant to confirm it had acted in accordance with the law after it called a halt to its investigation as part of an agreement with Sorrell who went on to quit the company.

No further detail was given on the nature of the allegations of "personal misconduct", which Sorrell said he rejected "unreserverdly". WPP itself informed shareholders that the "allegations do not involve amounts that are material to WPP".

The FCA has responsibility for overseeing publicly listed companies and ensure that they operate in compliance with market abuse regulations, specifically by checking that the sum of money involved fall below the level that would be classed as a breach of insider information rules.

An FCA spokesperson said: “It is the responsibility of a listed company to ensure that they identify potential inside information and take steps to disclose it appropriately to the market. The FCA routinely contacts firms or their advisers to clarify press commentary, announcements and events and did so in this case.”

Sorrell has strenuously refuted any suggestion of impropriety and WPP is adamant that it will not publish the findings of an independent law firm’s investigation into the affair.

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