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British bank Barclays is taking allegations "very seriously" that it misled large institutional investors and other clients in the United States by falsely telling them it was taking measures to protect them from predatory high-frequency traders, it said today.
A Barclays spokesman said: "We take these allegations very seriously.
"Barclays has been co-operating with the New York Attorney General and the SEC (Securites and Exchange Commission) and has been examining this matter internally. The integrity of the markets is a top priority of Barclays."
Barclays bank has been accused of misleading large institutional investors by duping them into buying protection measures from predatory high-frequency traders, New York's attorney general said.
The allegations against the British banking and financial services firm were contained in a securities fraud lawsuit that Eric Schneiderman announced at a Manhattan news conference.
The NY attorney general accused the bank of "a flagrant pattern of fraud, deception and dishonesty with Barclays clients and the investing public," in a complaint filed in the Supreme Court.
Barclays stands accused of deceiving investors about its dark pool, which allows bank clients to trade blocks of shares while keeping prices private.
Barclays spokesman Mark Lane said the bank, headquartered in London, was co-operating as "integrity of the the market is a top priority."
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New York's attorney general has accused the bank of "a disturbing disregard for its investors".