Forex Trader Files Complaint Against Citi for Wrongful Dismissal

A former citigroup trader has filed a complaint against a bank in Singapore after she has been fired because of alleged connivance happening between her and a colleague which involves rigging the currency market.

Ms. Tian Yuhui was fired by the bank she is connected with after her four month’s maternity leave. She is suing the bank for the loss of income, deferred cash awards and stocks and for her to be reinstated in her job. This information is all noted in a lawsuit which was filed last August in the higher court in Singapore. Also, the former trader is asking the Citicorp Investment Bank (Singapore), the banks local unit to withdraw “adverse notifications” that was sent to the regulators.

Last October, the Citigroup filed a defence stating that they are entitled to terminate the currency spot options trader last May. Last year, during the internal investigation, they have uncovered five chat conversations from the year 2011 to 2013. These chats involve Ms. Tian and a Japanese colleague according to the court papers. The claims that the chats reveal Ms. Tian’s intention to trade with a view to affect or manipulate the US dollar-Japanese Yen spot price around 3pm Tokyo fix, a key currency market benchmark. The dollar-yen is a major currency in the US about $5.3 trillion- a-day (S$7.6 trillion-a-day) foreign exchange market.

Wong Siew Hong, the lawyer of Ms. Tian said that Ms. Tian has been unfairly dismissed without further notice.

There will be an upcoming closed hearing that is set in Dec. 17. For the years, banks have paid out more than US$10 billion which serve as a fines resulting to the scandal involving the alleged currency rigging with a pending criminal investigations in the US and Britain. Over the last 2 years, there have been at least 30 traders from different banks that were fired, suspended or put on leave since the scandal take place.

According to court papers, some of the chats includes “You are the best,” Ms Tian told her Japanese colleague right after he told her that he placed “fake bid” to defend the dollar-yen spot rate at 84.01. Ms Tian also told him to “push the fix”. The Japanese trader is also dismissed from work according to court papers.

With all these allegations, Ms. Tian said that it’s just a matter of miscommunication or wrong choice of words. The word choices may not be appropriate and has given the wrong impression. She also said that she did not tell the Japanese trader to place a fake bid and that the chats only reflect “common practice” of entering a bid order, and later withdrawing it. Ms. Tian was paid $18,900 a month. According to the court papers, Ms. Tian believes that her duty was to generate income for Citigroup.

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