Ex-Barclays trader admits conspiracy to rig currency prices

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Barclays headquarters in London. (iStock)
Barclays headquarters in London. (iStock)

Manhattan - Jason Katz, a former Barclays currency trader, admitted conspiring to fix prices in the foreign-exchange market, the third individual to be charged and the first to plead guilty in a long-running US criminal investigation into the rigging of currency rates.

Katz appeared in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, where he admitted to participating in a conspiracy with other bankers to manipulate emerging-market currency trades while working at three different financial institutions from 2007 to 2013. Separately, the Federal Reserve Board said it banned Katz from the banking industry.

Katz’s conviction comes one day before five banks are scheduled to be sentenced in connection with the Justice Department’s three-year investigation. The banks - Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Company, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland Group - pleaded guilty in May 2015 to charges that their traders conspired to manipulate trading in US dollars and euros. UBS Group also pleaded guilty to a related charge.

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