Three European banks to pay $46m for 'spoofing' market

01 February, 2018, 00:55 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • A man cleans the logo of Swiss bank UBS on a branch in Bern

Deutsche Bank was fined $30 million (?24 million), while UBS agreed to pay $15 million and HSBC took a $1.6 million hit. Also facing federal charges is Andre Flotron, 53, a Swiss national now living in Wayne, N.J. and a former commodities trader at the Stamford office of UBS.

Seven former traders, including ex-UBS trader Andre Flotron, who was indicted previous year, as well as a technology consultant, also face charges of "spoofing" - in which traders place and then abort trades to manipulate prices - on markets for various precious metals including gold and silver between early 2008 and about 2014.

In spoofing traders place buy and sell orders with the intention of cancelling them before completing the transactions.

Authorities on Monday announced charges against eight people, some of whom had been employed by HSBC, Deutsche Bank and UBS. The orders create the illusion of demand, which distorts prices in a way that benefits the trader's positions. A spokesman for the Asia-focused bank told the newswire that the group was pleased to have resolved the matter.

Deutsche Bank said it had provided substantial cooperation "and has enhanced controls and surveillance to help ensure that the underlying conduct does not occur in the future".

James McDonald, director of enforcement at the CFTC, which regulates derivatives markets, said electronic and algorhythmic trading had created opportunities both for legitimate trading, which CFTC supported, and for fraud.

Jitesh Thakkar of IL has been charged with developing a software program used by his co-conspirator to engage in spoofing, the Justice Department said.

"The cases against Mr. Flotron are misguided and have no merit". Edward Bases, 55, and John Pacilio, 53, both of CT and based in New York City, were charged in a criminal complaint with commodities fraud.

McDonald, a former prosecutor in the Southern District of NY who was appointed to the CFTC role in March, has said he aims to achieve that by encouraging companies and staff to report their own wrongdoing and cooperate with investigators, in return for more lenient penalties.

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