RBC, TD Bank to pay C$24.5 million to settle forex trading charges: regulator

TORONTO (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank have agreed to pay a combined C$24.5 million ($18.5 million) to settle charges of foreign exchange trading malpractices brought against the Canadian banks by a regulator, following a settlement hearing held on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

In separate statements of allegations, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) said this week that TD and Royal Bank of Canada had failed to have sufficient supervision and controls in their foreign exchange trading businesses from at least 2011 to 2013.

“The settlement will send a clear message to firms about the importance of promoting a culture of compliance,” Cullen Price, Manager, Market Abuse Team, Enforcement at OSC said during TD’s hearing.

The two banks allowed the inappropriate sharing of confidential customer information by traders at the banks with their counterparts at other firms, the OSC said in the statement of allegations.

TD agreed to pay a combined C$10.1 million, split between fines to the commission and investigation cost, the OSC said. The total bill for RBC, Canada’s biggest bank, came to C$14.4 million.

“TD takes its obligations to have sufficient controls in its business very seriously. It’s integral to its culture of serving customers efficiently. Bottom line is that TD’s controls on FX trading is quite different today than it was 6-8 years ago,” a TD representative told the hearing.

Ahead of Friday’s settlement hearing, RBC said the bank was “pleased to resolve this matter in cooperation with the OSC.

“The conduct covered by the allegations occurred many years ago, and we have taken a number of steps since that time to enhance our controls,” RBC said.

Some of the world’s biggest investment banks have already paid more than $11 billion in fines to settle U.S., British and European regulatory allegations that traders rigged the currency markets.

In May, the European Union fined Barclays, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, and MUFG a combined 1.07 billion euros ($1.2 billion) for rigging the multi-trillion dollar foreign exchange market.

In June last year, Brazil’s antitrust watchdog fined Royal Bank of Canada and Morgan Stanley a combined 42.9 million reais for meddling with foreign exchange rates charged to clients.

Reporting By Nichola Saminather and Moira Warburton; Editing by Denny Thomas and Marguerita Choy