Barclays fined another $200 million over forex 'misconduct'

Barclays traders used a computer program to reject "unprofitable" customer orders.
Barclays traders used a computer program to reject "unprofitable" customer orders.AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - New York's financial regulator announced on Wednesday another US$150 million (S$210 million) fine against British bank Barclays over its "misconduct" in foreign exchange services offered to clients.

The New York State Department of Financial Services said the bank systematically had rejected customers' trades that were unprofitable to the bank, and lied to the customers over why the trades did not go through.

Barclays traders used a computer program known as "Last Look" as "a general filter to reject customer orders that Barclays predicted, based on price movements during the hold period, would be unprofitable to the bank," the NYDFS said.

The department said the bank also must fire an unnamed senior official of its forex, currencies and commodities trading business for the misconduct, which took place during 2009-2014.

The new fine added to the US$2.4 billion Barclays was ordered to pay US and British regulators, including the NYDFS, in May to resolve allegations of manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

That was part of US$6 billion in penalties levied on six major global banks in the case.

Last week, four Barclays bankers were among 10 charged in Britain with manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, the first to be charged with rigging Euribor.

Barclays is one of a dozen major banks which agreed in September to pay US$1.9 billion to settle allegations of price fixing in the market for credit default swaps.

The bank has also been sued by private investors with about two dozen banks for allegedly rigging the US Treasury bond market.