JPMorgan Traders Fired in Spoofing Probes Sue Bank in N.Y., U.K.
Jonathan Browning, 14 April 2021
Ex-JPMorgan Chase & Co. traders who were fired in connection with recent U.S. Justice Department inquiries into market manipulation have a message for their former employers: give us our jobs back.
In separate lawsuits in London and New York, two of the bank’s former traders are saying they were unfairly dismissed and are asking to be reinstated. Both men had proximity to spoofing tactics that wound up being prosecuted by U.S. authorities but neither was charged. They both maintain they did not engage in the manipulative conduct themselves.
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Reflecting crypto craze, crypto-related scams spiral higher in the U.K.
SOPHIE MELLOR, 06 April 2021
As the value of virtual currencies spirals ever higher, so have the scams related to them.
According to new data from the U.K.’s fraud reporting service Action Fraud, scams involving cryptocurrency investment rose 57% across the U.K. in 2020, with a total of 5,581 reports made.
Investors lost a total of £113 million to crypto scammers in 2020, up from £76.6 million the previous year. Continue reading “Article: Reflecting crypto craze, crypto-related scams spiral higher in the U.K.”
Deliveroo Debut Declared “Worst IPO In London’s History”, Sign Of Amsterdam’s Growing Dominance
TYLER DURDEN, 02 April 2021
It’s official: the Financial Times (citing an informal polling of anonymous bankers) has declared Deliveroo’s botched London offering the “worst IPO in London’s history.”
As we reported yesterday, shares of the food-delivery competitor, which is struggling to grow market share at all costs in a battle for survival with Uber Eats and “Just Eat Takeaway”, tanked in their public-markets debut, sliding 31% after pricing at the bottom of their range. Bankers immediately started complaining to reporters about being misled by Deliveroo’s bankers, who had initially bragged that the company would price at the high end of the range. The debut, marketed as a major coup for the LSE and London markets, which are struggling for European supremacy with Euronext Amsterdam, more generally, has turned into a major embarrassment for the industry. Continue reading “Article: Deliveroo Debut Declared “Worst IPO In London’s History”, Sign Of Amsterdam’s Growing Dominance”
“An Absolute Car Crash” – Deliveroo Shares Tumble 31% In London IPO
TYLER DURDEN, 31 March 2021
In what some might take to be the latest sign of exhaustion in global equity markets, shares of Deliveroo tumbled 31% in their market debut Wednesday after pricing at the lower end of their range.
Despite pricing near the bottom of its range, Deliveroo’s opening valuation of about £7.6 billion ($10.5 billion) was the highest in London since resources group Glencore’s 2011 IPO, according to Dealogic data.
But traders quickly wiped more than £2 billion ($2.8 billion) off its market cap as shares plunged. It’s a start contrast to the debut of DoorDash, which IPO’d in the US back in December. Its shares soared more than 86% at the open. One equity capital markets banker who was not involved in the deal described the debut to the FT as “absolute car crash”. In recent days, Deliveroo and its bankers had continued to insist that the offering had seen “very significant demand” from investors, even as its debu tprice range started to slip. Continue reading “Article: “An Absolute Car Crash” – Deliveroo Shares Tumble 31% In London IPO”
Big Oil’s Secret World of Trading
Javier Blas and Jack Farchy, 30 March 2021
It was a bleak moment for the oil industry. U.S. shale companies were failing by the dozen. Petrostates were on the brink of bankruptcy. Texas roughnecks and Kuwaiti princes alike had watched helplessly for months as the commodity that was their lifeblood tumbled to prices that had until recently seemed unthinkable. Below $50 a barrel, then below $40, then below $30.
But inside the central London headquarters of one of the world’s largest oil companies, there was an air of calm. It was January 2016. Bob Dudley had been at the helm of BP Plc for six years. He ought to have had as much reason to panic as anyone in the rest of his industry. The unflashy American had been predicting lower prices for months. He was being proved right, though that was hardly a reason to celebrate. Continue reading “Article: Big Oil’s Secret World of Trading”
FCA comes down on Wirex after allegations of turning a blind eye to money laundering
Aisling Finn, 30 March 2021
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has decided to crack down on crypto and fiat currency payments provider Wirex after money laundering allegations surfaced, according to an investigation by Fintech Futures.
In response to the article, Wirex’s legal team said: “The article in question contains a number of false, defamatory and misleading statements, including the allegations that money is being laundered through the company, and Wirex is currently considering its legal options to have the article removed immediately.”
Concerns were allegedly first raised all the way back in February 2019 after several Wirex employees independently approached the FCA with concerns that customer money was being laundered through the company, according to the report by Fintech Futures.
The employees, one of which was in a senior compliance position, also reportedly raised concerns that Wirex was trading crypto that wasn’t the company’s to trade. Continue reading “Article: FCA comes down on Wirex after allegations of turning a blind eye to money laundering”
Fintech startup Feedzai valued at $1 billion in KKR-led funding round
Anna Irrera, 24 March 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – Financial technology group Feedzai said on Wednesday it had raised $200 million in a round led by investment company KKR valuing the startup at more than $1 billion.
Existing investors, including Sapphire Ventures and Citi Ventures, also participated in the round, the San Mateo, California-headquartered company said.
Feedzai develops artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that helps banks and other financial firms to spot and prevent payments fraud, money laundering and other types of illicit activities. Continue reading “Article: Fintech startup Feedzai valued at $1 billion in KKR-led funding round”
The Legal and Economic Implications from Recent UK Spoofing Cases.
Yan Cao, Marlene Haas, Greg Leonard, 23 March 2021
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has in recent years intensified its efforts in securities and commodities markets to detect and pursue the type of disruptive trading behaviour called “spoofing.” This emphasis coincides with a similarly increasing focus by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) on spoofing cases in the US. Spoofing may take different forms, but usually involves the placing of non-bona fide orders, often of large quantity, on one side of the market while trying to execute a bona fide order on the other side of the market. Once the bona fide order has been executed, the trader cancels the non-bona fide orders quickly. To date, more than 40 enforcement actions targeting spoofing have been filed against individuals and companies by US regulators and more than 5 have been filed by UK regulators. In February 2019, Julia Hoggett, the FCA’s Director of Market Oversight, delivered a speech about the FCA’s commitment to tackling market abuse, calling compliance with such rules “critical to the integrity and health of our financial markets.” Continue reading “Article: The Legal and Economic Implications from Recent UK Spoofing Cases”
Credit Suisse Faces Additional Charges over FX Market Rigging
Arnab Shome, 22 March 2021
The European Commission has slapped an extra antitrust charge sheet against Credit Suisse for its involvement in the manipulation of foreign exchange (forex) markets, according to a Bloomberg report.
The Swiss lender confirmed the fresh charges in addition to the earlier charges, which were introduced in July 2018 for sharing crucial market-related information in chatrooms. However, the bank denied all allegations against it.
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“Credit Suisse continues to believe that it did not engage in any systemic conduct in the FX markets which violated the European Union’s competition rules, and is contesting the EC’s case,” the bank said in a statement.
The EU regulator’s original allegations named several major banks for their part in manipulating the currency benchmarks. Though most of the lenders settled with the regulator, Credit Suisse remains adamant pushing its innocence.
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NatWest money laundering case linked to second criminal trial, prosecutors say
Iain Withers, 19 March 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – Criminal money laundering charges against British state-backed bank NatWest are linked to a separate case against 13 individuals based in cities across the country, prosecutors have told Reuters.
Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), started a criminal action against NatWest on Tuesday, making it the first bank to be charged under a 2007 money laundering law.
The FCA accused NatWest of failing to monitor suspect activity by a client that deposited about 365 million pounds($500 million) in its accounts over five years, of which 264 million was in cash.
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Britain’s NatWest bank faces money laundering charges
Tom Wilson, Iain Withers, 16 March 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator has started a criminal action against NatWest over allegations it failed to detect suspicious activity by a customer depositing nearly 400 million pounds ($553 million) over five years, mostly in cash.
The action is the first such case against a British bank under a 2007 money laundering law. If convicted, the bank faces a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it was bringing the proceedings after NatWest’s systems failed to adequately monitor and scrutinise activity over an account held by a British customer between November 2011 and October 2016.
Around 365 million pounds was paid into the unnamed customer’s accounts, of which around 264 million pounds was in cash, the watchdog alleged.
NatWest had previously disclosed in its 2020 annual report an FCA investigation in relation to “certain money services businesses and related parties”.
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China tells UK to butt out of Hong Kong
Andrew Davis, 15 March 2021
China accused the UK of “groundless slanders” after the British government said Beijing’s crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong wasn’t in compliance with the treaty that paved the way for the city’s return to Chinese control.
“The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of ‘supervision’ over Hong Kong after the handover, and it has no so-called ‘obligations’ to Hong Kong citizens,” China said in a statement posted Sunday (Monday AEDT) on the website of its London embassy. “No foreign country or organisation has the right to take the Joint Declaration as an excuse to interfere in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs.”
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Watchdog bans City of London trader for ‘wash trading’
Hannah Godfrey, 04 March 2021
The city watchdog has banned ex-City of London trader Adrian Geoffrey Horn after he engaged in ‘wash trading’, a form of market abuse.
Horn, who worked as a market making trader at Cheapside-based Stifel Nicolaus Europe, was fined £52,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and banned for carrying out any regulated work in the future. Continue reading “Article: Watchdog bans City of London trader for ‘wash trading’”
The LIBOR Scandal
Jason Fernando, 24 February 2021
What Is the LIBOR Scandal?
The LIBOR Scandal was a highly-publicized scheme in which bankers at several major financial institutions colluded with each other to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The scandal sowed distrust in the financial industry and led to a wave of fines, lawsuits, and regulatory actions. Although the scandal came to light in 2012, there is evidence suggesting that the collusion in question had been ongoing since as early as 2003.
Many leading financial institutions were implicated in the scandal, including Deutsche Bank (DB), Barclays (BCS), Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
As a result of the rate fixing scandal, questions around LIBOR’s validity as a credible benchmark rate have arisen and it is now being phased out. According to the Federal Reserve and regulators in the U.K., LIBOR will be phased out by June 30, 2023, and will be replaced by the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). As part of this phase-out, LIBOR one-week and two-month USD LIBOR rates will no longer be published after December 31, 2021. Continue reading “Article: The LIBOR Scandal”
Swiss central bank chief rejects ‘currency manipulator’ label from the U.S.
Elliot Smith, 17 December 2020
LONDON — Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan has rejected a U.S. decision to label Switzerland a “currency manipulator.”
The U.S. Treasury on Wednesday added Switzerland to a list of nations it suspects of deliberately devaluing their currencies against the dollar.
Jordan told CNBC on Thursday that neither the SNB nor Switzerland itself has artificially manipulated the value of the Swiss franc.
“Our monetary policy is necessary, it is legitimate, and we have a very low inflation rate — it is even negative at this moment — so we have to fight this deflation, and the Swiss franc is very strong, so it appreciated in nominal terms over the last 12 years enormously, both vis-a-vis the euro and vis-a-vis the U.S. dollar,” he said. Continue reading “Article: Swiss central bank chief rejects ‘currency manipulator’ label from the U.S.”