US trends in market abuse and trade surveillance

Published April 2024

US regulators consistently rank first for both the volume and severity of their enforcement action. From Q1 2019 to Q3 2023, they issued 133 fines totalling $2.67bn compared to 72 fines equalling $251m for all other regulators across the globe.

Naturally, the stark contrast between these statistics raises a key question - why are US regulators taking so much more enforcement action against the perpetrators of market abuse when compared to other jurisdictions? This report explores the nuanced explanations that sit behind the main headline.

What topics are covered?

To better understand this issue, eflow commissioned independent researchers that specialise in financial regulation to undertake analysis of US enforcement action. Here are some of the key points covered by the research:
Quantitative analysis

Quantitative analysis

Analysis of market abuse enforcement by US regulators from 2019-2023
Case studies

Case studies

Key enforcement case studies showing how US regulators are responding to abusive trading
US vs. the world

US vs. the world

Analysis of how US regulatory enforcement compares to other jurisdictions
Interviews

Interviews

Thoughts and insights from surveillance and compliance professionals from the US and around the globe
RegTech

RegTech

An examination of how both regulators and regulated firms are investing in surveillance technology
New technologies

New technologies

Analysis of the role of AI, digital currencies and social media on market abuse
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US Enforcement Overview

  • During the period under investigation, US regulators issued 133 market abuse fines totalling $2.7bn
  • The US is the only jurisdiction to consistently issue fines for short selling-related violations, with FINRA and the SEC issuing $42.5m worth of penalties across 20 individual fines
  • The highest individual penalty was issued to JP Morgan Chase and Co for $920m
  • Even discounting this large penalty, the average fine issued by US regulators equalled $13.2m.
  • In particular, the CFTC issued the highest average fine value with an average fine amount of $57m