Barclays Terminates Eight Foreign Exchange Employees Amid Probes

DOJ Clamps Down on Currency Manipulation by Banks

Barclays Plc is terminating eight foreign exchange employees after authorities uncovered corruption in the unit spanning at least four years.

The U.K. bank has already dismissed four of them in the past month, including its global head of spot trading in London, New York’s Department of Financial Services said in a statement Wednesday. The regulator has ordered the bank to “take all steps necessary” to remove a vice president on the emerging markets trading desk in New York, two spot traders and a director of foreign-exchange sales in the city.

The departures come after Barclays was fined 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) for colluding with other banks to manipulate key benchmarks in the currency market and for overcharging customers. The London-based lender was one of six that paid $5.8 billion in penalties on Wednesday as part of a settlement with U.S. and British regulators.

“They engaged in a brazen ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ scheme to rip off their clients,” said Benjamin Lawsky, the superintendent of financial services at the DFS. “Put simply, Barclays employees helped rig the foreign-exchange market.”

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, which is paying almost $670 million to U.S. regulators, said Wednesday it has dismissed three employees and suspended a further two pending further investigation.

The DFS didn’t identify the Barclays employees by name. Will Bowen, a spokesman for Barclays in London, declined to comment.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE