The foreign-exchange trading business was in upheaval across Wall Street as senior executives resigned and others were fired amid an expanding probe of possible currency manipulation.
Bloomberg reports that Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, asked more than a dozen firms including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup for documents on their currency-trading practices, said a person with knowledge of the matter. Deutsche Bank fired four dealers after an internal probe, people with knowledge of the move said. Goldman Sachs lost two partners while Citigroup said its foreign-exchange chief will leave in March.
Lawsky’s investigation is at least the 12th opened by authorities in Europe, the U.S. and Asia since Bloomberg News reported that traders at the world’s largest banks colluded to manipulate the benchmark WM/Reuters rates. Even staff who aren’t being probed are reassessing career plans as the scandal forces firms to change fundamental practices as revenue falls.
'Currency traders are now sitting in an unprecedented and unwelcome spotlight,' said John Purcell, chief executive officer of Purcell & Co., a executive-search firm. 'Regulatory pressures, scandals and attendant reputational issues are making it a much more challenging environment.'
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