Barclays squared up to US regulators yesterday, fiercely rejecting claims it had lied to investors using its dark pool trading facilities.
It is the first time a British bank has reacted so strongly to legal attacks from the US, as banks have been reluctant to fight back openly since the financial crash struck.
“Fundamentally, the complaint fails to identify any fraud – establishing no material misstatements, no identified victims, and no actual harm,” the bank said in a court filing, petitioning to have the case thrown out.
Eric T Schneiderman, the New York attorney general (AG), said the bank promoted the dark pool as a trading venue safe from predatory traders, but lied about the number of such predators in the pool and its treatment of them.
But Barclays insisted in yesterday’s statement that the bank works closely with its regulators in all jurisdictions and will continue to co-operate with the attorney general. If Barclays wins the case it may seek to sue its accusers – trading volumes in its dark pool have dived by around 70 per cent since the allegations were made.