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NAB to Revive FX Options

Following the currency options trading scandal that broke at National Australia Bank (NAB) last year – and resulted in the bank dismissing four traders and its co-global head of FX among numerous other senior managers – the bank has begun to revive the business with two senior appointments.

Clifford Bayne is the new head of FX options in Australia, based in Sydney. His counterpart in Europe is Andrew Clark, based in London. Clark and Bayne will report to Jeff Lee, global head of foreign exchange in Sydney.

The FX options desk was closed by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) in the immediate aftermath of the Aud 360 million in “unauthorised foreign currency options trading” losses, pending a series of actions based upon recommendations in its official report. Since Q2 2004, NAB has been able to back-to-back customer trades in the market, and a spokesperson for the bank has previously told Profit & Loss that it is still unable to trade for its own account until APRA approves its restructuring.

Bayne is joining NAB from ABN Amro in Singapore, where he ran the Dutch bank’s pricing and risk management for vanilla and exotic emerging markets options. Prior to ABN, Bayne was with Standard Chartered, also in Singapore. He has also worked for Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse First Boston and SG Warburg.

Clark joins NAB in London from JP Morgan Chase, where he has spent the past seven years working in various centres, including Singapore, Sydney, New York, and most recently, London. At JPM, he was vice president, FX commodity options group, responsible for trading and pricing vanilla and exotic options. Prior to that, Clark was based in Sydney, where traded FX and commodity options portfolios. The two appointments, says a statement from NAB, “are in preparation for the re-opening of the [FX options] desk”.

Profit & Loss

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