Forex Probe Unfolds with BNP Paribas Suspending its Global Head of Spot Trading

Reports by the Wall Street Journal said that BNP Paribas' global head of spot currency trading, Bob De Groot, has

BNPParibasThe ongoing investigations into foreign exchange rate manipulation continue, with the latest update surfacing regarding France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas – which was said to have suspended Bob De Groot – its global head of spot trading for its Forex business, as reported by the Wall Street Journal citing unnamed sources.

Forex Magnates was unable to reach a company spokesperson around time of publication and other news outlets said that BNP Paribas had declined to comment on the news.

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According to a LinkedIn profile for De Groot, he is described as having previously worked with Citi Bank for nearly 16 years, holding the position of Managing Director before joining BNP Paribas, as per the public profile.

Many sides of the investigations have revolved around the same central themes, including alleged online chat room collusion to manipulate forex rates in favor of the conspiring parties, according to the allegations that have resulted from these findings, with the first mention of it announced by Switzerland’s financial market regulator last October.

Senior FX Positions Too Hot to Hold Amid Forex Investigations

Earlier today Forex Magnates reported that Goldman Sachs has scooped up ex-JP Morgan’s Global Head of Foreign Exchange, Kayhan Mirza, naming him as partner and at the helm of the same [descriptive] role within its Investment Banking business, to be Global Head of Foreign Exchange at Goldman Sachs.

While other firms are firing, others are hiring, including several suspensions and people who have been said to be let go. Of course – a normal degree of such events occur naturally in a healthy functioning marketplace, however, the string of related forex moves have been tied directly to the ongoing FX probe (not the abovementioned hire by Goldman Sachs, although it too had been previously drawn into the investigations).

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As a result of this, senior FX positions within the institutional space have become a hot potato -at least for a few, and too hot to hold – as firms scrutinize and review internal operations amid the investigations.

BNP Paribas employs some 14,000 people, as described on its corporate website, and with around 3,000 of its staff in the U.S. De Groot was said to be based out of London, as reported by several media outlets following the news, and the bank’s foreign exchange business is described on its website as offered via its Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) business division.

BNP Paribas’ CIB division – in terms of its FX segment – has more than 400 Forex specialists that cover a broad offering of FX related products, including the firm’s Cortex platform, as well as spot foreign exchange that De Groot was described as having being in charge of.

The company offers over 100 currency pairs to trade in and also has a sizable prime brokerage business, a key product of interest to retail brokers and other non-retail participants on both the buy-side and sell-side of the FX market.

Update on Forex Class Action Related to FX Probe

A number of forex dealers who revealed they were under investigation regarding foreign exchange related probes, were subsequently named by complainants as part of a number of lawsuit applications that have recently joined a class-action.

The lead counsel appointed to that class was Scott+Scott LLP, as Forex Magnates originally reported of the court’s selection for that position, and then again when Quinn Emanuel – another counsel among the classes plaintiffs –  challenged the court to appoint it as the lead on the basis that its client – the city of Philadelphia – had the largest interest in the case.  A NY court just days ago rebuffed that application and kept Scott+Scott LLP in the lead, citing that due to the firm’s experience with anti-trust cases and among other related considerations – the court had stuck with its initial decision.


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