RBS head of forex takes sabbatical

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RBS Reuters Pedestrians are reflected in the window of a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in London. Picture: Suzanne Plunkett

London - Royal Bank of Scotland's head of foreign exchange trading in Europe, James Pearson, is taking a five-month sabbatical, leading to a temporary restructuring of the bank's forex desk, RBS said on Tuesday.

“He is taking a sabbatical for entirely personal reasons. This is in no way linked to any investigation,” an RBS spokeswoman told Reuters.

RBS is among several major banks assisting regulators around the world who are investigating allegations of collusion and price-rigging in the global currency market, by far the world's largest financial marketplace.

Pearson was part of a group of chief dealers in London who met up to four times a year with senior Bank of England officials to discuss the main issues and events affecting the currency market until those meetings were discontinued last year.

Pearson could not be reached immediately for comment.

He was still listed as “active” on the Financial Conduct Authority's register of approved individuals.

London is the hub of the global foreign exchange market, accounting for around 40 percent of the $5.3 trillion-a-day turnover.

RBS is the seventh-largest foreign-exchange trading bank in the world, according to Euromoney magazine, seeing almost 6 percent of the daily global flow.

It has suspended three traders in London as part of its investigations.

Pearson's responsibilities will be shared among three employees on the foreign-exchange desk in addition to their current roles, RBS said.

Damon Reynolds will run the voice cash and NDF business for Europe Middle East and Africa, Simon Manwaring will take on technology-based trading and Scott McMunn will take on the role of head of EMEA currency trading. - Reuters



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