The u.s. federal Reserve announced on Monday imposed a fine of $ 246 million (eur 215 million) to BNP Paribas for practices that are “risky and questionable” on the foreign exchange market, where traders “buy and sell dollars and other currencies for the accounts of the bank or its customers.”
At the end of may, the French bank had already been punished with a fine of 350 million dollars from the financial regulator of New York Department of Financial Services) to the same facts, which date back to the period 2007-2013.
“The firm [BNP] was not able to detect or provide solutions to the fact that its traders used chatrooms to e-communicate with competitors on their trading positions,” explains the Fed in its press release. “The decision of the council of the [us central bank] demands of BNP Paribas that it improves the supervision of management and its controls on brokering activities in currency markets”.
“Deep regret” to the French bank
The French bank points out that “the u.s. Federal Reserve acknowledged the improvement initiatives in business” since.
“BNP Paribas regrets deeply these past failures that have led to this agreement, and which are clearly at odds with the high standards implemented by the group. Manage the activity in a responsible and ethical manner is an essential principle for BNP Paribas, which will continue to make progress in this area for the exercise of its responsibilities vis-à-vis all of its stakeholders” ensures the bank of the rue d’antin in its press release.
In January, the Fed had prohibited any activity to life on the foreign exchange market former trader at BNP Paribas, Jason Katz. It also prohibits the bank from re-hiring any person who has been involved in these manipulations of the exchange rate. By working together on discussion forums online, market operators were able to influence the course of some currencies (notably the south african rand, the Hungarian forint, the Turkish lira) and rack and capital gains undue.