NAB gets green light on forex options

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra), Australia’s financial watchdog, has given NAB the go-ahead following the bank's completion of an Apra reform programme, which outlined the steps that NAB must take to re-start its forex derivatives desk.

Apra originally issued a list of reforms in a report on the A$360 million ($280 million) rogue trading incident published in March last year. The report exposed a large number of major risk management problems at the bank, including gaps in back office validation processes and complacent line managers.

“It’s great to be back offering the full range of foreign currency product, which we’ve not been able to do over the last year,” said John Hooper, executive general manager of institutional markets and services at the Australian bank. “Many of our customers have stuck with us through that but it’s been disappointing not to be able to give them the full range of services which they require.”

NAB has been investing in its currency derivatives business over the last few months in anticipation of its forex options desk reopening. In mid-February, the bank announced that Clifford Bayne would join the bank from ABN Amro as head of foreign exchange options for Australia, and that Andrew Clark was moving to NAB from JP Morgan as London-based head of foreign exchange options for Europe.

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