* Chat rooms with workers at other banks prohibited
* Social chat rooms banned and must be closed immediately
Dec 19 Royal Bank of Scotland's markets
division has banned the use of multi-dealer online chat rooms,
the bank said, joining rival banks that have taken similar
action in response to regulatory scrutiny.
Chat rooms have been a focus for regulators investigating
manipulation of the Libor and Euribor benchmark interest rates
and possible rigging in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange
Confirming a Bloomberg report, RBS said it had told front
office staff in its markets division that all permanent chat
rooms with workers at other banks, bank entities or competitors
had been prohibited, as well as those with clients, brokers and
securities firms, unless certain criteria were met.
RBS has also told staff that all social chat rooms are
prohibited and must be closed immediately. It said the primary
purpose of chats should be business related and adhere to the
group's competition law guidance.
Sources told Reuters this week that JPMorgan Chase,
the biggest U.S. bank by assets, was planning to ban the use of
multi-dealer online chat rooms and the use of such rooms among
staff for social purposes.
Deutsche Bank had prohibited its foreign exchange
and fixed income staff from using online chat rooms, and UBS
banned the use of multi-bank and social chat rooms at
its investment banking division. Citigroup and Barclays
had also clamped down, according to people familiar
with the matter.
Traders at banks and financial institutions often
communicate with each other online via third-party services
including Bloomberg LP and Thomson Reuters.