Singapore Markets closed

Deutsche Bank fined $205 mn in US for forex manipulation

US officials fined embattled German banking giant Deutsche Bank $205 million in a settlement to resolve foreign exchange market manipulation violations, New York's top banking regulator announced Wednesday.

Deutsche Bank's violations included improperly coordinating trading activity with other financial institutions in order to boost the bank's own profits, the New York State Department of Financial Services said.

Deutsche Bank traders participated in multi-party online chat rooms where confidential information was shared and currency prices were manipulated, DFS said.

The violations were uncovered following an investigation from 2007 to 2013.

Deutsche Bank signed a consent order with the New York agency and agreed to an enhanced compliance and audit program, DFS said.

"Due to Deutsche Bank's lax oversight in its foreign exchange business, including in some instances, supervisors engaging in improper activity, certain traders and salespeople repeatedly abused the trust of their customers and violated New York State law over the course of many years," said DFS superintendent Maria Vullo.

"DFS appreciates the bank's full cooperation with our investigation, including its own extensive internal investigation, and for taking several proactive steps to address prior to the Department's enforcement action."

The settlement comes amid a turbulent period at Deutsche Bank that has seen it replace its chief executive and announce more than 7,000 job cuts in an effort to turn the page on years of losses.

On June 1, Standard and Poor's downgraded Deutsche Bank's credit rating, warning that it "appears set for a period of sustained underperformance compared with peers, many of whom have now finished restructuring."

The fine also comes on the heels of earlier large bank fines over foreign exchange market manipulation.

In May 2015, four major banks, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion for conspiring to manipulate the price of dollars and euros.

US and British authorities have netted some $10 billion in fines overall in cases on fixing the foreign exchange market.