AIM companies fined for failing to announce information promptly and failing to have a social media policy

United Kingdom

AIM Regulation have censured three companies for failing to comply with the AIM Rules.

Two related to failures to make announcements. In the case of MBL Group, the company failed to update the market on a material deterioration in the company’s financial position, whilst continuing to make announcements of positive trading results. The company also failed to keep its nomad updated as to its financial position. As a result MBL was fined £75,000 (reduced from £125,000 for early settlement).

The second case was a private censure where the relationship between the company and its nomad had become difficult. The company failed to keep the nomad up to date about progress in its search for a new nomad. In addition, it failed to notify the market of the impending change of nomad. As a result of this failure to keep its nomad updated, the company was fined £50,000 (reduced from £75,000 for early settlement).

In the final case, a company received a private censure and £50,000 fine (reduced from £75,000 for early settlement) for failing to have an effective social media policy. The company had broadcast information through social media without having first announced it to the market through an RIS. On investigation, it transpired that because the company did not have a social media policy it had not put in place checks and controls to ensure this did not happen.

These three cases again emphasise the importance of ensuring that price-sensitive information is released to the market in a timely manner. They are also a reminder that AIM companies need to have social media policies and controls in place, particularly to ensure that material information is not released through social media channels before it is announced to the market. More information about what the Exchange expects in respect of a social media policy can be found here.

More details of the censures can be found in AIM Notices AD 18 and AD19 which are available here.