Monday 25 March 2019

Green light for NAB options desk

AFTER 15 months in the "sin bin", National Australia Bank (NAB) has finally got the go-ahead to reopen the foreign exchange options desk that was at the centre of last year's ?212m (A$360m) trading scandal.

NAB has finally convinced the regulator that it has the right risk policies and trading procedures in place to reopen the desk, ending a saga that triggered a board and management shake-up at the bank.

Casualties included group chief executive Frank Cicutto, chairman Charles Allen and most of the bank's directors. The bank, which recently completed its exit from the Irish banking market when it sold National Irish Bank and Northern Bank to Denmark's Danske Bank, has employed four new traders in Australia and two in the UK, updated its IT systems and improved its supervision processes.

Forex options trading is a modest activity for NAB. But fund managers said the desk's reopening was an important step in NAB's recovery.

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