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BNP Paribas to pay $350 million to settle foreign-exchange manipulation charges

BNP Paribas will pay $350 million to settle New York Department of Financial Services charges that the firm’s traders colluded to manipulate foreign-exchange rates.

From 2007 to 2011, the bank’s FX traders colluded to manipulate foreign-exchange currency prices and benchmark rates; executed fake trades to influence the exchange rates of emerging market currencies; and improperly shared confidential customer information with traders at other large banks, according to a consent order from the department posted on its website Wednesday.

The misconduct was done through multiparty chat rooms, according to the consent order. Those who engaged in the activity have been terminated, resigned or otherwise disciplined, it added.

Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said in a news release that BNP Paribas “paid little or no attention to the supervision of its foreign-exchange trading business, allowing BNPP traders and others to violate New York state law over the course of many years and repeatedly abused the trust of their customers.”

BNP Paribas cooperated with the state agency’s investigation, according to the release.

In a separate news release, BNP Paribas confirmed the settlement and said it “deeply regrets the past misconduct which led to this settlement.”