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US hits French banking giant BNP with $246 million fine

US regulators have fined French banking giant BNP Paribas $246 million for the bad behaviour of its traders.

US hits French banking giant BNP with $246 million fine
Photo: AFP

US regulators on Monday fined French banking giant BNP Paribas $246 million for poor oversight of its foreign exchange traders who manipulated trading prices.

The move came six months after the Federal Reserve permanently barred former BNP trader Jason Katz from the banking industry, for manipulating foreign exchange prices.

“The firm failed to detect and address that its traders used electronic chatrooms to communicate with competitors about their trading positions,” the Fed said in a statement.

“The Board's order requires BNP Paribas to improve its senior management oversight and controls relating to the firm's FX trading,” the statement said.

BNP said the misconduct occurred between 2007 and 2013 the company has taken steps to strengthen oversight.

“BNP Paribas deeply regrets the past misconduct which was a clear breach of the high standards on which the Group operates,” the company said in a statement.

The Fed also blocked BNP from ever re-hiring any of the former employees involved the incidents, the central bank said.

New York State's Department of Financial Services in May fined BNP $350 million for the same case, accusing traders of “collusive activity” to manipulate currency prices.

The fine also follows the Fed decision in April to fine Germany's Deutsche Bank more than $150 million for similar “unsafe and unsound” foreign exchange trading practices.

SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

France’s Societe Generale to cut 1,500 jobs: report

French banking group Societe Generale is planning to cut 1,500 positions in its BFI corporate and investment banking arm, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Saturday.

France's Societe Generale to cut 1,500 jobs: report
Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea at the Climate Finance Day and Global Roundtable in Paris on November 26, 2018. Photo: ERIC PIERMONT / AFP
Citing internal bank documents, the paper said the bank was looking at two scenarios, both of which envisage 1,500 job cuts worldwide, with around 700 of them in France.
 
The company said in a statement on Saturday it was still reviewing activities in its corporate and investor client business so it was not possible to comment on the impact on jobs.
 
“We have an ongoing dialogue with our unions and will consult them on our projects and their impact as soon as the review is completed in the coming weeks,” the bank said.
 
French CGT union representative Philippe Fournil could not confirm the information, but said the bank's management had on Thursday indicated it was still reviewing activities within that business.