Lawsky Said to Seek Forex Monitors at Deutsche, Barclays

NY Financial Regulator Benjamin Lawsky
New York Financial Regulator Benjamin Lawsky’s plan to install monitors at Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- New York’s banking regulator is pressing to put monitors in place at Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc as part of an investigation into whether traders manipulated benchmark currency rates, a person briefed on the matter said.

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, contacted lawyers for the banks about his plan following an initial review of the possible manipulation, said the person, who asked not to be named because the investigation isn’t public.

Regulators and prosecutors in Europe, the U.K. and U.S. are investigating allegations that dealers at the world’s biggest banks traded ahead of their clients and colluded to rig the WM/Reuters rate, a benchmark that pension funds and money managers use to determine what they pay for foreign currencies. More than 25 traders have been fired, suspended or put on leave after the allegations emerged last year.

Lawsky’s office has asked for documents and electronic communications related to currency trading practices at more than a dozen banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG, the person has said.

Mark Lane, a spokesman for Barclays in New York, declined to comment, as did Ronald Klug, a spokesman for Lawsky’s office. Renee Calabro, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank, declined to comment beyond previous statements by the bank that it was cooperating with the investigations.

Lawsky’s plan to install monitors was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Farrell in New York at gregfarrell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net Joshua Gallu, Maura Reynolds