February 5, 2014 / 3:00 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1 -Citi's global head of foreign exchange to leave bank -memo

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - The global head of foreign exchange at Citigroup, the world’s second largest currency trader, is leaving the bank, according to an internal bank memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

London-based Anil Prasad’s departure, however, is not related to the global investigation into allegations of currency market manipulation, a source familiar with the matter said.

“Anil’s decision is his own and entirely unrelated to the on-going FX investigations,” the source said.

Citi sees 14.9 percent of the average $5.3 trillion that flows through the world currency markets every day, according to the last annual poll by Euromoney, just behind market leader Deutsche Bank AG which sees 15.2 percent.

Prasad joined Citi in India in 1986 and relocated to New York two years later. In 1996, he moved to London but left the bank the following year to join Natwest Capital Markets.

He returned to Citi in 2000, and was appointed Global Head of Foreign Exchange & Local Markets in February 2007. His successor will be announced in the coming weeks.

Prasad’s departure comes as the FX probe appears to be gathering steam.

Last month, Citi fired its London-based head of European spot foreign exchange trading, Rohan Ramchandani, following a prolonged period on leave.

On Tuesday Deutsche Bank fired three New York-based currency traders, and Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group suspended one of its FX traders in London after an internal investigation into allegations of FX manipulation, sources said.

Also on Tuesday, the head of Britain’s top regulator said the allegations of FX manipulation were “every bit as bad” as those surrounding the Libor interest rate scandal.

“We are still in the investigation phase ... The allegations are every bit as bad as they have been with Libor,” Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, told UK lawmakers.

“I would be surprised if we got to conclusions within this year. I hope that we will next year,” he said.

Banks including Barclays and UBS have been fined $6 billion for rigging Libor and other benchmark interest rates, and some of the same banks are cooperating with regulators in the forex probe.

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