UBS Says Singapore Traders Fired for Serious Misconduct

UBS AG, sued for wrongful dismissal by two former traders in Singapore, said they were fired for serious misconduct and won a bid to seal documents in the cases.

“Premature disclosure of the bank’s investigation into the fired traders would hamper the bank’s ongoing probe into the matter, as well as the review carried out globally by regulators looking into the manipulation of rate fixing,” the bank said in a court filing last month. Later court documents were sealed after a closed hearing at Singapore’s High Court today.

Mukesh Kumar Chhaganlal, UBS’s former co-head of macro-trading for emerging markets in Asia, and Prashant Mirpuri, a former executive director, claimed in separate lawsuits that they were fired in a bid by UBS to cover up its role in allegedly manipulating key reference rates. UBS, fined about $1.5 billion in December by U.S., U.K. and Swiss regulators for trying to rig global interest rates, is still being investigated by agencies in Singapore and Hong Kong.

UBS intends to defend itself against the lawsuits, the Zurich-based bank said in its March 22 applications to seal the files in the court cases. UBS declined to comment in an e-mailed statement today.

The Feb. 7 firings of the two traders were to cover up UBS’s role “in the growing scandal related to alleged fixing of rates of non-deliverable forwards,” according to the traders’ lawsuits. A non-deliverable forward is a derivative traders use to speculate on the movement of currencies that are subject to domestic foreign exchange restrictions.

The cases are Prashant Parmeshwar Sunny Mirpuri v UBS AG S163/2013 and Mukesh Kumar Chhaganlal v UBS AG S164/2013. Singapore High Court.

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