FXCM's January non-U.S. volume rises 18 pct

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Currency broker FXCM Inc, which was banned last week from operating in the United States, said on Wednesday its non-U.S. monthly trading volume rose 18 percent to an estimated $253 billion in January from December.

Volume, however, fell 17 percent from a year earlier.

The company said in a statement it excluded U.S. trading from the estimate because it had agreed to sell its U.S. accounts to rival Gain Capital Holdings Inc and withdraw from the United States.

FXCM was banned last week by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission from doing business in the United States for betting against its customers in trades. The commission ordered Forex Capital Markets, its parent FXCM Holdings LLC and founding partners Dror Niv and William Ahdout to pay $7 million to settle charges it had defrauded retail foreign exchange customers.

At the end of 2016, FXCM’s U.S. retail forex accounts totaled nearly $179 million, according to the commission’s website. The United States accounts for 18 percent of FXCM’s revenue, the company’s website showed.

January customer trading volume averaged $12 billion a day, up 18 percent from December.

The commission said last week that FXCM had an interest in a market maker on its trading platform that consistently won the largest share of the company’s trading volume, and thus was taking positions in opposition to FXCM’s retail customers.

As an agency broker registered with the commission, FXCM was to act merely as an intermediary between the buyer and seller in foreign exchange transactions.

FXCM said on Monday the sale of its U.S. retail foreign exchange business was expected to reduce consolidated revenues by $38.8 million and increase net profit by $13.9 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2016. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Richard Chang)