Barclays Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG agreed to settle allegations by New York’s top cop and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that they misled investors on how they managed their private trading platforms.
Barclays will pay $70 million, split evenly between the two enforcers, the largest fine levied on a dark pool operator, the SEC said Sunday in a statement. Credit Suisse will pay $84.3 million, according to the statement. That payment includes $24.3 million to the SEC for disgorgement and interest, with the remainder shared evenly between the two authorities.
The dispute centered on whether the banks disclosed enough to their clients about trading in their dark pools. Barclays misrepresented to clients how it monitored its dark pools for high-frequency trading, according to the statement. Credit Suisse systematically routed orders to its own dark pool, but told clients that it didn’t prioritize one trading venue over another, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“These cases mark the first major victory in the fight against fraud in dark pool trading that began when we first sued Barclays: coordinated and aggressive government action, admissions of wrongdoing, and meaningful reforms to protect investors from predatory, high-frequency traders,” Schneiderman said. “We will continue to take the fight to those who aim to rig the system and those who look the other way.”
Barclays agreed to settle the charges by admitting that it misled investors and violated securities laws, according to the SEC statement. The London-based bank also agreed to install a third-party consultant to review how the firm manages certain aspects of its dark pools business.
“Barclays is pleased to have reached agreement with both the SEC and the New York Attorney General to conclude their investigations concerning our US equities ATS practices and Market Access controls,” Barclays’ spokesman Mark Lane said in an e-mailed statement.
Zurich-based Credit Suisse didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing in the settlement, which involved two of its trading platforms, Crossfinder and Light Pool. “We are pleased to have resolved these matters with the SEC and the New York attorney general,” Nicole Sharp, a bank spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Dan Mathisson, the executive who helped build Credit Suisse into an electronic-trading powerhouse over the past decade, is to leave the bank at the end of the month, people familiar with the matter said last month. Mathisson, most recently head of U.S. equity trading, made the decision to go, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters.
“These largest-ever penalties imposed in SEC cases involving two of the largest ATSs show that firms pay a steep price when they mislead subscribers,” Andrew Ceresney, the director of SEC’s enforcement division, said in the statement.