Deutsche Bank Said to Suspend Moraiz in Currency Probe

Deutsche Bank AG, the world’s biggest foreign-exchange dealer, suspended New York-based trader Diego Moraiz as part of its probe into attempts to rig currency markets, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Moraiz, who dealt in Latin American currencies, was one of several individuals suspended since December, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter isn’t public.

Moraiz didn’t immediately return a message left at his home seeking comment. Sebastian Howell, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, declined to comment on individual employees.

The suspensions at Europe’s biggest investment bank by revenue come as regulators around the world investigate possible manipulation of foreign-exchange rates in the $5.3 trillion-a-day market. Authorities have contacted at least a dozen firms and at least 17 traders have been suspended, put on leave or fired. Bloomberg News reported in June that dealers at banks pooled information through instant messages and used client orders to move currency benchmarks.

Reuters reported Moraiz’s suspension earlier today.

Deutsche Bank is cooperating with regulators probing foreign-exchange markets and disciplines staff found to have engaged in wrongdoing, Stephan Leithner, the company’s management board member for legal and personnel matters, told reporters at an event in Frankfurt yesterday. The bank has withdrawn from submitting data to some market benchmarks following the scandal over attempts by traders to rig the London interbank offered rate, he said.

Litigation Costs

“In the currency market it is slightly different, it isn’t a question of submissions,” he said. Currency benchmarks are “determined from trading flows, so the idea of stopping trading between shortly before 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. isn’t an answer, but rather we should ensure ordered processes in that window.”

Sudden fluctuations in exchange rates ahead of the 4 p.m. London close, cited by market participants as indicative of potential manipulation, have become rarer and less pronounced in the past six months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Frankfurt is one hour ahead of London.

Deutsche Bank reported a 958 million-euro ($1.3 billion) net loss for the fourth quarter yesterday after taking 528 million euros in litigation expenses. Last month the bank was fined 725 million euros by the European Union, part of a record 1.7 billion euros in penalties levied against six banks for rigging interest rates linked to Libor.

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