FX-ed off the Fed

FX-ed off the Fed

BNP Paribas has been hit with a $246 million fine by the US Federal Reserve System relating to past misconduct in its foreign exchange (FX) business.

The Paris-based bank says it will pay the fine and has settled Federal Reserve allegations that it failed to keep its FX traders from using electronic chatrooms to manipulate prices.

The conduct which led to this settlement occurred during the period from 2007 to 2013. Since this time, BNP Paribas states it has “proactively implemented extensive measures to strengthen its systems of control and compliance”. The bank “increased resources and staff dedicated to these functions, conducted extensive staff training and launched a new code of conduct which applies to all staff”.

BNP Paribas says it “deeply regrets the past misconduct”. It says the fine will be covered by existing provisions. This follows its announcement of a settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services on the 24 May relating to the same issue.

According to Bloomberg, earlier this year, a former BNP Paribas trader, Jason Katz, pleaded guilty to violating federal antitrust laws. The US Fed barred him from the US banking industry in January.

Bloomberg adds that in May 2015, Citigroup, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) pleaded guilty to rigging currency rates in a $5.8 billion settlement with multiple regulators.