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Report: EU regulator setting up system to catch botched bond deals

The European Securities and Markets Authority is working with banking lobby group Association for Financial Markets in Europe to develop a system that catches botched bond trading transaction reports, Financial News reported.

The move comes after alleged misleading data purportedly created the false impression that European traders bought and sold €491 billion of Colombian government debt in the second half of 2018, the newspaper noted. Consultancy Tabb Group pointed out in May that the true number had been inflated due to a suspected erroneous currency conversion calculation, according to the Aug. 12 report.

In response to a call for feedback by ESMA on its proposals related to the methodology for identifying reporting errors, AFME recommended careful analysis of the country of issuance for government bonds, according to an emailed summary of the call seen by Financial News.

AFME also urged ESMA to carry out consistent cross-checks between its own data and external data sources, or so-called "sanity checks," but the regulator insisted that it cannot use external sources because its mandate is to use data provided directly to it, the newspaper added.