The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has sanctioned Toronto-based Bank of Nova Scotiafor spoofing trades in gold and silver futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the futures and swaps markets regulator announced Monday.
The regulator has settled charges against the bank, ordering it to pay a US$800,000 monetary penalty and to cease and desist from violating CFTC rules. In addition to the monetary penalty, the CFTC’s order requires the bank to beef up its training, systems and controls to detect and deter spoofing.
The regulator’s order finds that Scotiabank traders placed buy and sell orders in precious metals futures contracts with the intent to cancel the orders before they were executed. According to the order, the traders’ spoofing strategy involved placing a small order on one side of the market at, or near, the best price, then placing a large order on the opposite side of the market away from the best price to create the impression of greater trading intent.
“The spoof orders were placed in order to induce other market participants to fill the smaller resting genuine orders,” the CFTC says in a news release.
The bank self-reported the misconduct, which occurred between 2013 and 2016, after being alerted to it by its futures commission merchant. As a result, the bank’s penalty was reduced.
“This case is another great example of the significant benefits of self-reporting and cooperation. We expect market participants to take proactive steps to prevent this sort of misconduct before it starts,” says James McDonald, director of enforcement, CFTC, in a statement. “But, as this case shows, there is a strong incentive for market participants to quickly and voluntarily report wrongdoing when it is discovered and cooperate with our investigation, as the Bank of Nova Scotia did here. In recognition of its self-reporting and co-operation, the commission imposed a substantially reduced penalty.”