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BNY Mellon settles currency transaction lawsuits

New York and federal authorities have reached a $714 million settlement with Bank of New York Mellon in lawsuits alleging it fraudulently represented rates for client currency transactions for a decade.

Lawsuits filed in 2011 said BNY Mellon misrepresented rates it would give currency exchanges, providing clients nearly the worst rates of the trading day while promising the best, obtaining the best rates for itself and keeping the difference.

The investigation began with a 2009 whistleblower complaint. Clients included public pension funds.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara say the bank misled customers and breached their trust.

The bank says this fully resolves lawsuits and enforcement proceedings concerning its standing instructions on foreign-exchange services for custody clients before early 2012.

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