The offence, which is punishable by a fine or up to seven years’ imprisonment, relates to trading in equities and a call option between 2 October and 16 December 2011.
Lyttleton was summoned on Thursday to attend City of London Magistrates’ Court.
He was once seen as something of a ‘poster boy’ for Ucits absolute return funds, with BlackRock UK Absolute Alpha reaching around £2bn in size at its peak.
He left BlackRock in March 2013, a firm he joined as a graduate trainee in 1992. A month later, both he and his wife Delphine Lyttleton were arrested by the City of London Police.
Not much further was heard on the investigation, until it was reported last year that regulator had dropped its investigation of Delphine.
“The FCA has informed us that the charges against a former employee relate to alleged actions carried out in 2011 for his personal gain, while off our premises, and that neither BlackRock, nor any employee, was under investigation,” BlackRock said today.
“There was no impact to any of BlackRock’s clients as a result of the alleged actions. The alleged behaviour is totally contrary to the firm’s principles and values, and we strongly support aggressive enforcement of the law in these matters.
“As charges have now been brought we will not be able to make any further comment.”