BNP Paribas will pay the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) $350M to settle a probe into allegations that it was involved in currency rigging in the bank’s foreign exchange business. In a statement, the French bank said that it “deeply regrets” the misconduct, which took place between ’07 and ’13.
The DFS said that over a dozen BNP Paribas sales people and traders in NY as well as other trading hubs rigged forex rates and took part in other illegal activities. BNP Paribas traders worked in online chat rooms with traders from competing companies, making fake trades and improperly sharing customer information that should have stayed confidential. Members of the bank’s sales team are also accused of misleading customers regarding prices.
Among the alleged misconduct cited by the DFS is that of a BNP Paribas trader in NY who is accused of not only rigging different currencies but also of executing bogus trades overnight to move rates and then frequently cancelling the trades within seconds of making them. In another example cited, one of the bank’s traders in Japan allegedly improperly disclosed customer information involving yen trading with several competitor traders.