Lloyds Leak, Regulation A Reform, CME-Europe: Compliance

Martin Chantree, a senior currency dealer at Lloyds Banking Group Plc, shared details of a pending bank order with a trader at BP Plc to the potential detriment of the bank, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

The possible leak of trading information to a company that isn’t a bank opens another front in an already sprawling investigation of practices in the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market. At least a dozen regulators on three continents are examining allegations of collusion among counterparts at banks in manipulating benchmark rates. More than 20 traders have been suspended or fired as a result of the probes.

Lloyds suspended Chantree on Feb. 3. He didn’t respond to messages requesting comment. A lawyer for Chantree declined to comment.

“BP did not sell sterling until after it was widely known in the market that Lloyds was an active seller,” the London-based company said in a statement. “We strongly refute any suggestion that any BP FX traders engaged in inappropriate trading activity.”

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Compliance Policy

Securities Group Backs Review Process for Small Companies

North American Securities Administrators Association members approved a multistate review system “to ease regulatory compliance costs on small companies attempting to raise capital under a provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act,” according to an e-mailed statement.

The program is a response to Title IV of the JOBS Act, which increased the amount to $50 million from $5 million that can be raised through offerings exempt from registration under Regulation A.

Compliance Action

Tokyo Star Sale Delayed by Taiwan on Breaches at Buyer CTBC

Taiwan is delaying approval of CTBC Financial Holding Co.’s planned 52 billion-yen ($505 million) purchase of Japan’s Tokyo Star Bank Ltd. after finding breaches of internal controls at CTBC’s banking unit.

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission postponed considering the deal along with all investments by CTBC Bank Co. pending corrective measures, according to Jean Chiu, a spokeswoman for the regulator’s banking bureau.

CTBC Bank was fined NT$10 million ($330,000) and restricted from setting up overseas units until the situation is rectified, the FSC said in a statement. Failed internal protocols allowed bank managers to hide control of a Shanghai-based company from board members, the regulator said.

The penalties may delay a planned $1.4 billion expansion by the Taipei-based lender and its parent.

CTBC Financial said the bank will make improvements in accordance with the FSC’s conclusions, according to a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday. Taiwan Life said today in an exchange statement the penalties for CTBC won’t affect its finances and operations.

It may take one to three months for the suspension to be lifted, according to the FSC’s Chiu.

CME to Start Europe Exchange April 27 After Winning FCA Approval

CME Group Inc. will open its twice-delayed new European exchange to business on April 27, offering currency and commodity futures, after winning approval from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.

CME pushed back the start date for its first new bourse as it awaited a decision from the Bank of England, which had to approve the market before the FCA. CME Europe Ltd. was originally intended to open in September. The new London-based exchange will offer trading in 30 currency pairs and commodities, Lee Betsill, chief executive officer of CME Clearing Europe Ltd., said yesterday in an interview.

Interest-rate futures are CME’s biggest business, and the company dominates the foreign-exchange derivatives market. Thirty customers have signed up for the European exchange, the company said yesterday.

House Panel to Probe GM Recall of Models for Faulty Switches

A House panel will investigate the response of General Motors Co. and U.S. regulators to consumer complaints about ignition-switch failures that led to the recall of 1.6 million vehicles and are linked to at least 13 deaths.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will explore whether the automaker or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration missed “something that could have flagged these problems sooner,” Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican and the committee’s chairman, said March 10 in a statement. He said the committee WILL hold a hearing in the coming weeks.

The issue is emerging as the first major test for GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, who was promoted to replace retiring CEO Dan Akerson two weeks before an internal company decision on Jan. 31 to do a recall.

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