BP denies inappropriate currency trading by its dealers

Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:58am EDT
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LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - British oil company BP said none of its currency traders had engaged in inappropriate trading activity, after a media report alleged one of them had received information from a dealer at Lloyds Banking Group .

Allegations of possible manipulation of the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market have so far centered on major banks.

Financial regulators and monetary authorities around the world are looking into allegations that traders colluded to manipulate benchmark exchange rates, a cornerstone of global markets that are used as reference rates by companies, investors and central banks.

Bloomberg News reported earlier on Tuesday that Martin Chantree, a senior foreign exchange dealer at Lloyds, shared information with a forex trader at BP on Jan. 31 2013 about an impending order from a client to sell 300 million pounds for dollars.

Chantree has been suspended from the partly state-owned bank, Reuters reported on Feb. 4.

Chantree, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing by authorities, did not respond to messages Reuters left at a phone number listed in his name and sent via LinkedIn on Tuesday.

Many people active in the foreign exchange markets say that sharing information with other players is a vital element that allows banks and others to manage the risk they take on when agreeing to fulfill orders for clients and their own needs.

Indeed, industry body the ACI says that banks must be allowed to share details of their overall position with others, but differentiate between that and either cartel-like collusion to move the market or the breaking of confidentiality agreements with particular clients by sharing details of their orders, both of which go against the ACI code of conduct.

BP, Europe's second-biggest oil company by stock market value, denied any wrongdoing.   Continued...