Royal Bank’s official response to CFTC’s accusations

If the following responses are true, the CFTC has mud on its face.  The United States markets are a cesspool of corruption, turning a blind eye to MF Global, Jon Corzine, and the other banktsers, but charging a Canadian bank with trumped up allegations.

RBC Vigorously Rejects CFTC Allegations as Unwarranted

TORONTO, April 2, 2012 – In response to the CFTC’s allegations against RBC for trading activity that the CFTC reviewed and had full knowledge of, RBC has these comments:

  • The CFTC has been aware of these transactions since 2005. These transactions were done in accordance with market terms, regulations and process.
  • This is not a financially material event to RBC but we do take this situation seriously and intend to vigorously defend our reputation.
  • Before we made a single trade, we proactively contacted the exchange to seek its guidance. These trades were fully documented, transparent, and reviewed by both the CFTC and the exchanges, and for the next several years were monitored by them. RBC’s trading was permissible in 2005, was reviewed six months later by the CFTC and encountered no objection, and it is permissible today under the CFTC’s published guidance.
  • Given no objection to the trading activity by either the exchange or the CFTC in 2005, it is absurd to now claim these trades were either fictitious or wash sales. This lawsuit is meritless.
  • The block trades in question were entered into by independent RBC legal entities with the intent to establish genuine, bona fide positions, based on the CFTC’s long-standing regulatory guidance. They were executed at competitive market pricing and no market participants suffered any negative impact, nor has the CFTC alleged any pricing irregularities.

For more information, please contact:

Kevin Foster, RBC, 212-428-6902, kevin.foster@rbc.com
Rina Cortese, RBC 416 974-5506, rina.cortese@rbc.com

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Canadian banks

Canadian banks have done very well and are strong in comparison to their neighbors to the south.  But one reason to be wary about investing in them is that they are expanding into the US.  While the bankruptcies are making it possible to pick up deals, my impression is that the US Federal government regulation which often led to bankruptcies is becoming worse rather than better.  Now RBC (RY) is selling a US insurance company that they picked up a few years ago, which may be an indication that they too realize that that business is becoming more difficult in the US.  But it is not surprising.  Obamacare is going to bankrupt the health insurance companies.

Despite the strength of Canadian banks, I am down to an uncovered put on BNS (agreement to buy at $45).  It’s been a great run for me.  I’ve traded successfully on TD, RY, NA, though I lost on BNS and LB (but I have overall net gain from my positions on the banks–thank you very much!).