LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland currency trader Paul Nash has become the first individual arrested in connection with a global inquiry into alleged manipulation in the foreign exchange market, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Nash, who was suspended by RBS in 2013, was named by the sources as the man arrested in Billericay, southeast England, on Dec. 19. One of the sources said his arrest came only days before he emigrated to Canada.
Nash emigrated to Canada on Christmas Day and has rented out his family home, the source said. His arrest was not by appointment, as is typical in such cases, but was an “arrest and raid”, the source added.
Nash, who has not been charged with any offence, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Dec. 23 over variations to his bail conditions, a court official confirmed. These included that he would reside at a specified address in British Columbia.
Attempts to reach Nash via LinkedIn were unsuccessful.
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said only that a 48-year-old man had appeared at the London court on Dec. 23 in connection with a global investigation into allegations of manipulation in the $5.3 trillion-a-day forex market.
The increasingly aggressive agency, which is preparing for the trials this year of individuals alleged to have manipulated global benchmark interest rates, said last July that it might file the first charges in the high-profile inquiry this year.
About 30 forex traders have been put on leave, suspended or fired as prosecutors and regulators continue to examine allegations of wrongdoing in the world’s largest market.
RBS, a state-backed British lender that has been reviewing the conduct of more than 50 current and former traders, said in December that six employees could face disciplinary action.
It declined to comment further on Thursday.
The bank was one of six lenders fined a combined $4.3 billion by regulators last November for failing to stop traders trying to manipulate currency markets.
The other banks to settle British and U.S. regulatory allegations of failings were HSBC Holdings, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup, UBS and Bank of America Corp.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Reserve and New York’s financial regulator are among those still investigating banks over foreign exchange trading in an inquiry that has put the largely unregulated market on a tighter leash and accelerated the push to automated trading. (Additional reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by David Goodman)