NatWest slapped with a $35 million criminal fine for US treasury manipulation

London-based NatWest has been ordered to pay a $35 million in a criminal fine, restitution, and forfeiture by a US court. The company was connected in various fraud schemes in the markets for U.S. Treasury securities and futures contracts.

In addition to its monetary penalty, NatWest also will serve three years of probation and will agree to the imposition of an independent compliance monitor.

The UK global banking and financial services firm pleaded guilty of wire fraud and securities fraud.

The court documents state that during the period between January 2008 and May 2014, NatWest traders in London and Connecticut independently took part in market manipulation schemes with US Treasury futures contracts.

These NatWest traders placed “spoofing” orders, planning to cancel them before execution, deceiving other market participants. These orders are meant to artificially push the price up or down, leading to a profit for the traders.

US Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco stated:

As we have previously warned, there will be serious consequences for a company that breaches the terms of an agreement with the government. Today’s guilty plea by NatWest and the associated penalty show exactly that.

NatWest is a repeat offender,” Acting U.S. Attorney Leonard C Boyle for the District of Connecticut, said. “In this instance, a criminal conviction was an appropriate penalty, given the conduct of NatWest’s supervisors, its compliance deficiencies, and its decision not to take the steps required to fulfill its agreement with this office that resolved a prior securities fraud scheme.

NatWest is facing a £264.8 million fine in the UK for anti-money laundering compliance failures.


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