UBS Inc. fined by SIX Swiss Exchange Sanctions Commission
On 22 March 2016 the SIX Swiss Exchange Court of Arbitration partially confirmed the decision handed down on 16 March 2015 by the SIX Swiss Exchange Sanctions Commission regarding UBS Inc. The Federal Supreme Court did not occur the appeal against this decision submitted by UBS Inc. A fine of CHF 2 million was imposed on UBS Inc. for violating a regulation governing ad hoc publicity.
The regulations on ad hoc publicity require an issuer to disclose potentially price-sensitive facts to the market which have arisen in its sphere of activity as soon as it becomes aware of the main points of the price-sensitive facts. Under certain circumstances, the disclosure of potentially price-sensitive facts may be temporarily postponed (“postponement of disclosure”). However, if the information in question is untimely leaked to the public, a media release must be published in accordance with the regulations on ad hoc publicity at once (“ad hoc announcement”).
The SIX Swiss Exchange Court of Arbitration agreed with the consideration of the Sanctions Commission that UBS Inc. should have published an ad hoc announcement no later than the morning of 29 October 2012 regarding a strategy change following related reports in the media. The company was not authorized to postpone the announcement while awaiting the decision of its Board of Directors, i.e. until the morning of 30 October 2012, because a potentially price-sensitive fact already existed prior to the Board’s decision and the conditions for a postponement of disclosure were no longer given. As UBS Inc. breached this obligation, it violated the rules on ad hoc publicity with conditional intent.
Furthermore, the SIX Swiss Exchange Court of Arbitration found that by not publishing an ad hoc announcement before 19 December 2012 regarding negotiations with various supervisory authorities concerning LIBOR UBS Inc. did not violate the rules on ad hoc publicity, as UBS Inc. had already disclosed the LIBOR issue in accordance with the regulation on ad hoc publicity earlier and was thus in compliance with these rules. Therefore, the information on these negotiations reported by the media in December 2012 did not qualify as a new, potentially price-relevant fact requiring immediate disclosure.
The SIX Swiss Exchange Court of Arbitration reduced the fine imposed by the Sanctions Commission from CHF 3 million to CHF 2 million.
On 29 August 2016, UBS Inc. appealed the decision of the SIX Swiss Exchange Court of Arbitration to the Federal Supreme Court. The Federal Supreme Court did not occur the appeal, since both parties had waived their right to appeal in advance.