Standard Chartered to pay $40m fine for manipulating currencies

Posted by News Express | 5 February 2019 | 873 times

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A top Wall Street watchdog on Tuesday slapped a big bank with a $40 million fine over a brazen currency rigging scheme that had traders referring to themselves as a “cartel” and openly boasting about their ability to “bully“ other currency traders.

The New York Department of Financial Services says Standard Chartered’s traders acted in secret, using a bank chat room called “Old Gits” to manipulate currencies of countries like Thailand’s bhat or South Africa’s rand.

The riggers went so far as to refer to themselves as a “cartel,” and “like OPEC but poorer,” referring to their price-fixing ability, according to a consent order Standard Chartered signed with DFS.

“I think we need an old gits meeting to discuss good ole [rand] manipulation,” one bone-headed trader wrote to other traders in 2008, according to the order. “We should be able to bully people now far more than any other [currency].”

The traders at Standard Chartered, a British bank with operations in New York, manipulated the currencies to pad the bank’s bottom lines from 2007 to 2014, according to the consent order.

Standard Chartered cooperated with the DFS probe, which marks the end of the watchdog’s years-long investigation into Wall Street’s rigging of currency markets.

The watchdog has previously fined Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, and Deutsche Bank over similar allegations that have cost Wall Street $3.14 billion.

The legal action is likely the last major announcement from Maria T. Vullo, the DFS superintendent, who has announced she is stepping down on Feb. 1.

“The integrity of the global financial system is compromised when the hunger for profit leads bankers and traders to turn a blind eye to the kind of illicit activities uncovered by DFS’s broad investigation,” Vullo said in a statement.

“Since the conduct at issue took place, Standard Chartered has remediated its systems and controls, and now has an appropriate control framework in place,” Shaun Gamble, a Standard Chartered spokesman, said in a statement. (NYPost)

Source: News Express

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