RBS Says Head of Trading for Currencies in Europe to Take Leave

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said its head of trading for currencies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, James Pearson, is taking a leave of absence for personal reasons.

His duties will be shared by colleagues Damon Reynolds, Simon Manwaring and Scott McMunn, Rebecca Nelson, a spokeswoman for RBS, said by telephone today. Pearson joined RBS as head of spot foreign-exchange trading in 2011 from Nomura Holdings Inc.

Calls to his office telephone weren’t answered and an e-mail to his work account was returned with a message saying he will return on Sept. 8.

Pearson’s move comes as the widening probe of the foreign-exchange market roils an industry already under pressure to shrink costs. Regulators around the world are investigating allegations traders colluded to rig key foreign-exchange benchmarks used by investors and companies by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the WM/Reuters rates are set.

No firms or traders -- including Pearson -- have been accused of wrongdoing by government authorities.

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