The ongoing legal wranglings which continue to surround Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) with regard to FX rate manipulation have taken a further turn, this time at the hands of New York State Financial Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky.
Mr. Lawsky, a prominent lawyer and advocate of modernized, highly effective financial markets infrastructure and regulation, has made his perspective clear with regard to a settlement that the New York State regulatory authority aims to enter into with the financial giant.
“There are two options: You can do a settlement in May with a carveout, or you can do a settlement later without a carveout,” Mr. Lawsky stated yeseterday after a Dow Jones event in midtown Manhattan.
Since November last year when six banks were collectively fined $4.3 billion by US, Swiss and British regulatory authorities for their part in global FX rate manipulation, there have been a series of class action law suits against the same banks and others, including Barclays which was not included in the original six which were fined in November, as a result of
State regulators, such as New York State’s Department of Financial Services and private entities have entered into litigation, and in some cases, individual traders from various institutions been the subject of police investigation.
In this particular case, Barclays is one of a number of banks expected to come to terms in the coming weeks with the U.S. Department of Justice and other authorities over manipulation of foreign exchange rates, however it is the only bank among them that is licensed and regulated by New York State.
The other banks are JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS) and UBS AG (SWX:UBSN).
According to a report by Reuters, Mr. Lawsky said on Tuesday it would probably take several months for the agency to complete its probe of whether Barclays has used computerized programs to manipulate foreign exchange rates.
It remans unclear as to how Mr. Lawsky’s decision will affect any upcoming deals involving Barclays. “That’s going to be up to Barclays and up to the other regulators” concluded Mr. Lawsky.