Lloyds Said to Suspend Senior Currency Trader Amid Investigation

Feb 04, 2014 10:41 am ET

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Lloyds Banking Group Plc suspended a senior foreign exchange dealer amid an internal probe into the alleged manipulation of currencies, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

Martin Chantree, who has worked at the London-based bank for about nine years, was put on leave today while Lloyds holds an investigation, according to the person, who asked not to be identified while the probe continues.

“It is group policy not to comment on individual employees,” Lloyds said in a statement. Chantree didn’t immediately reply to e-mails and phone calls seeking comment.

Chantree is the first currency trader Lloyds has suspended since the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority opened a formal investigation into allegations first reported by Bloomberg News that employees at some firms shared information about their positions with counterparts at other banks. The move brings the number of currency traders suspended, put on leave or fired to at least 18. Chantree hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing, and authorities haven’t accused any of the banks or traders of wrongdoing.

The FCA asked Lloyds, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, to review its currency trading operations and report any irregularities, people with knowledge of the matter said in November.

“It is prudent to review our own foreign-exchange trading over recent years and we have commenced such a review,” Lloyds said at the time. “We will, of course, report anything we find to the relevant authorities and assist them as requested.”

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--Editors: Heather Smith, Edward Evans