The Federal Reserve has announced two enforcement actions against Deutsche Bank that require the bank to pay a combined $156.6 million in civil monetary penalties.
The bank will pay a $136.9 million fine for “unsafe and unsound practices” in the FX markets, as well as a $19.7 million fine for failure to maintain an adequate Volcker rule compliance programme.
The Fed says it found deficiencies in the Deutsche’s oversight of, and internal controls over, FX traders and that the firm failed to detect and address that its traders used electronic chat rooms to communicate with competitors about their trading positions.
Galen Stops looks at how chat room activity is being monitored and controlled following recent collusion scandals.
“I’ve talked to hundreds of firms across the world and I haven’t yet met any that haven’t put requirements around information control, policy and security at the top of their agenda, it’s the first thing that comes to their minds,” says David Gurle, founder and CEO of Symphony, a cloud-based communications service provider.
This focus around information control and security is perhaps unsurprising given the events of recent years, in which financial institutions have been forced to shell out billions of dollars in fines relating to accusations of collusion to manipulate the Libor and WMR Fix benchmarks.
Thomson Reuters (TR) and Symphony Communication Services have announced a partnership that will enable market participants to share information from Eikon such as charts, news and data via Symphony’s messaging and collaboration platform.
The integration is slated to be available later this year. Users who have both Thomson Reuters Eikon and Symphony will be able to share Eikon content directly through the Symphony messaging and collaboration platform. If the recipient also has Eikon, then they are able to share live data, news and charts to support dynamic, real-time collaboration. The integration will leverage both Eikon and Symphony open APIs.
The Federal Reserve Board has announced that it is seeking to permanently bar Peter Little the former head of the G10 FX spot desk at Barclays in New York, from employment in the banking industry. The central bank is also seeking to impose a $487,500 fine on Little, who joined HSBC in New York in mid-2013 as head of G10 spot FX trading.
Little, who is believed to be preparing to challenge the Fed’s finding, is alleged to have engaged in unsafe and unsound practices.
The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has fined Deutsche Bank $205 million as part of a consent order for violations of New York banking law.
As investigation by the DFS determined that from 2007 to 2013 Deutsche Bank repeatedly “engaged in improper, unsafe, and unsound conduct in its foreign exchange business due to its failures to implement effective controls”.
In addition, the DFS says that for certain time periods parts of Deutsche Bank’s electronic trading platforms had the potential to improperly disadvantage customers and improperly affect markets, when certain applications did not perform as intended.
More than a few people have told me in recent weeks that they see the trial (which is now at the appeal stage) of Mark Johnson, and that of the Cartel threesome – which started this week in New York – as being inextricably linked. You all know what’s coming…I don't agree. In fact I would argue there are some fundamental differences that mean this week’s trial – complex as it is – cannot be seen through the same lens.
There was an interesting line in a report in yesterday’s Handelsblatt discussing the impending lawsuit against the banks in Europe and the US. We, along with other news organisations, reported the impending European lawsuit at the time the US papers were filed (although it did apparently come as a surprise to some outlets who reported the European case “exclusively” one week later!) but the Handelsblatt report has a quote from a source at one of the plaintiffs that I found quite insightful and potentially signals a nightmare for the banks facing the case.
The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has fined Standard Chartered Bank $40 million for attempting to rig transactions in FX markets between 2007 and 2013. An investigation by the DFS, as well as an internal review by the bank, found that bank traders used a range of illegal tactics to maximise profits or minimise losses at the expense of the bank’s customers or customers at other banks. Specifically, it was found that between 2007 and 2013, traders based in New York and elsewhere joined traders at other locations in a chat room called “Old Gits”. According to the DFS, the chat room was formed so that traders could coordinate trading, share confidential information and otherwise affect FX prices, with one trader apparently describing the chat room to a new member as “a den of thieves”.
In this week's podcast Colin Lambert and Galen Stops discuss the article penned for Profit & Loss by former FX trader Rohan Ramchandani about his trial and subsequent acquittal for market manipulation. While they generally agree on most points there is, inevitably, areas of disagreement, but that is nothing compared to when they move on (thanks to a quiet news week) to how they ranked each other's predictions for 2018. The results are available on the website, but why did Stops given Lambert a 6/10 for a bitcoin prediction that was actually correct? And why did Lambert return the compliment given Stops just a 4/10 for his own crypto prediction? All will be revealed in this week's In the FICC of It podcast, along with exactly which one of them scored the most points with their predictions.