NatWest Group Hit With Spoofing Lawsuit After Pleading Guilty
(Bloomberg) -- NatWest Group Plc. was sued by three trading firms over manipulation of security futures, a day after the bank pleaded guilty to wire and securities fraud and agreed to pay $35 million in penalties.
M&N Trading LLC, Kohl Trading LLC and Port 22 LLC claim NatWest’s spoofing of security futures from 2008 to 2014 caused them “economic injury” by depriving them “of the ability to transact in a lawful market that was free of manipulation.”
For more than six years, London-based NatWest Markets, a subsidiary of NatWest Group, engaged in separate fraud schemes to manipulate the market and unlawfully enrich itself, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Tuesday.
The trading firms’ complaint, filed Wednesday in Chicago federal court, mirrors the U.S. charges, accusing the company of manipulating the securities market by submitting phony bids and then withdrawing them.
Traders involved in spoofing place bids for securities with the intention of canceling them before they are completed.
The practice artificially pushes prices up or down, depending on the strategy, allowing traders to earn illicit profits.
The trading firms are seeking actual and punitive damages and want the bank to forfeit “any ill-gotten profits.”
The case is M&N Trading LLC v. NatWest Markets Securities Inc., 21-cv-06831, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).
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