The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has parted with a key executive on its foreign exchange (FX) desk, with James Pearson, its Head of FX, leaving the company following a sabbatical, Finance Magnates has learned.
Mr. Pearson was the Head of FX trading in Europe, and took his sabbatical back in April 2014. His temporary departure came at a time when RBS was engulfed with a multipronged investigation into FX manipulation and market rate rigging – Mr. Pearson was not connected at all with the investigations as his sabbatical was related to personal reasons.
During his sabbatical, Mr. Pearson’s responsibilities were shared amongst three employees on the FX desk. These included Dennis Reynolds, who helped run the voice cash and non-deliverable forwards (NDF) business for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Simon Manwaring, who stepped into a technology-based trading role, and Scott McMunn who served as the Head of EMEA currency trading.
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As recently as May 2015 however, Mr. Pearson was secretly questioned by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in relation to the bank’s alleged market rigging, according to a Reuters report at the time. Mr. Pearson had previously been questioned by the bank of England (BoE), however US prosecutors were not satisfied with the depth and handling of the original investigation.
Mr. Pearson originally joined RBS from Nomura back in 2011, having served as its Global Head of Spot FX Trading and Emerging Markets for the EMEA region since 2008. Additional stops also included a five-year stint with Lehman Brothers as its Global Head of G10 FX Spot Trading and Head of EMFX Trading, EMEA.
Finance Magnates has contacted RBS to receive official confirmation, however at the time of publication no official reply has been received.