U.S. regulators started Scotiabank probe before metals desk closure, filings show


By Peter Hobson
Friday, May 8, 2020

LONDON -- U.S. regulators were investigating Bank of Nova Scotia's metals trading activities several months before it told staff it would wind down the unit, according to its most recent earnings report.

Scotia, one of the most venerable names in the gold trade, told staff in a global call on April 28 that it would wind down its metals business by around the start of 2021, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters at the time.

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Scotia has declined to comment on the report.

In its first quarter earnings statement in February, Scotia said its metals business was under investigation by U.S. regulators.

"The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Department of Justice's Criminal Division are conducting investigations" into Scotiabank's "activities and trading practices in the metals markets and related conduct," it said.

It said it was "responding to requests for information related to these investigations."

Scotia did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on the investigation. The DoJ and CFTC declined to comment.

A U.S. court filing in March shows that Scotia also provided around 800,000 pages of evidence to regulators probing precious metals trading at JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Six current and former employees of JPMorgan have been charged since 2018 in relation to alleged spoofing, a technique that involves traders pushing markets up or down by placing bids to buy or offers to sell but cancelling them before execution. ...

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