BNP Paribas Agrees to $90 Million Penalty in Settlement over Rigging of FX ‎Markets

Photo: Bloomberg

The move makes BNP one of the last big banks to reach a settlement for FX ‎rigging. ‎

BNP Paribas has been slapped with a $90 million fine in a settlement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), over its attempts to manipulate foreign exchange markets.

The DoJ also ordered France’s biggest bank to put in place a program to ensure that the alleged violation doesn’t happen again.

The settlement, which BNP announced late on Thursday after the DoJ filed the deal with a US judge, comes one year after a senior trader of the lender has managed to reach a settlement in January 2017, but only after having to enter a guilty plea to criminal charges.

Jason Katz, who was a trader at Barclays and BNP Paribas, was found to have suppressed competition by fixing prices in Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African (CEEMEA) currencies. Alongside other co-conspirators, he manipulated prices on an electronic trading platform “through the creation of non-bona fide trades, coordinated the placement of bids and offers on that platform and agreed on currency prices they would quote specific customers, among other conduct,” according to a press release from the US Department of Justice.

Earlier last year, the New York regulator accused more than a dozen traders and salespeople working for the Paris-based bank of manipulating the $5.3 trillion a day forex market and other illegal activity over the course of six years. BNP Paribas has since agreed to pay $350 million to make up for the misconduct.

“This guilty plea holds BNP Paribas accountable for its corrupt price-fixing behavior which violated the integrity of the financial services industry and undermined competition,” said FDIC Inspector General Jay N. Lerner.

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The move makes BNP one of the last big banks to reach a settlement for FX rigging. Other banks have also faced huge fines for allowing their traders to club together to rig prices in FX markets. Last year, four banks – Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase – pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rig the foreign exchange market and fines totalling $5.6 billion were handed down by the US Department of Justice.

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Regulation ( Institutional FX 

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