BP Forex Traders Being Investigated

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By Jacob Maslow

An investigation has begun into whether a forex desk operated by oil giant BP manipulated a $5.3 trillion a day currency market.


Just as markets were closing for the New Year break, it emerged BP was undertaking a review of its London-based trading team after UK and US regulators launched their own inquiries.


The energy giant name emerged in an ongoing foreign exchange scandal that has seen six banks fined a total of £2.7 billion and the arrest of one London banker.


It is alleged members of the BP treasury trading team had been made aware of planned currency trades hours before they occurred.


BP said: “Following regulatory market (not into BP) investigations regarding the forex markets, we conducted a review into our activities in this area.


“BP’s forex desk has relationships (as a customer) with 26 relationship banks, including JP Morgan, Citibank and Barclays.


“BP has a robust framework of compliance requirements and internal controls which are constantly reviewed, and maintains an open dialogue with the appropriate regulators.”


Bloomberg alleged it had seen copies of messages between BP staff and a team of senior foreign-exchange traders at banks, inluding Barclays, JP Morgan and UBS, who met in a chatroom called ‘The Cartel’.


Bloomberg said that at least one BP trader had ‘chatted’ with a JP Morgan trader, but there was no evidence any BP traders were members of The Cartel nor that members of the BP team acted on information alleged to have been passed to them.


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