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BNP Paribas Securities to pay $90 million to settle CFTC charges of trying to manipulate benchmark

BNP Paribas Securities, the brokerage unit of BNP Paribas U.S. Holdings, will pay $90 million to settle CFTC charges that it tried to manipulate the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix, a global benchmark used in a range of interest-rate products, the regulatory agency said in a news release.

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission accused BNP Paribas traders and supervisors of attempting to manipulate the interest-rate benchmark to benefit the unit's positions in cash-settled options on interest-rate swaps and other structured products, the CFTC said.

The activity occurred between May 2007 and August 2012, the agency said. Traders would try to manipulate through bidding, offering and executing interest-rate swap spreads, and through misleading submissions to benefit BNP Paribas over derivatives counterparties.

A spokesman at BNP Paribas could not immediately be reached for comment.

In January, BNP Paribas' U.S. unit paid $90 million to settle U.S. Justice Department charges that it manipulated pricing in an electronic foreign-exchange trading platform.