PARIS (Reuters) - BNP Paribas (BNP.PA), France's biggest bank, has suspended its head of spot currency trading as part of a long-running global investigation into possible currency market manipulation, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
BNP Paribas declined to comment on the reported suspension of London-based Bob de Groot. De Groot did not respond to emailed requests for comment and calls to his office number were directed to BNP Paribas's communications department.
Regulators around the world - including Britain's Financial Conduct Authority and the U.S. Department of Justice which formally opened investigations in October last year - are looking into possible wrongdoing in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.
More than 20 traders have been placed on leave, suspended or fired by global banks in recent months, including the chief dealers at currency trading giants Citigroup (NYS:C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Barclays (BARC.L) and UBS (UBSN.VX).
The Bank of England suspended a staff member on Wednesday as part of an internal investigation into what it knew about the alleged manipulation of reference exchange rates.
The BoE said it had found no evidence that its staff colluded in any manipulation or shared confidential client information, adding that it had made the suspension pending a probe into compliance with its own internal control processes.
The central bank also released minutes that said such allegations had been raised as long ago as July 2006.
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent in Paris, Anirban Nag in London and Jamie McGeever in London; Editing by Andrew Callus, Greg Mahlich)