New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, announced Wednesday his office has filed civil fraud charges against Barclays PLC, charging that the bank favored high frequency traders over other investors.
Specificically, Barclays is accused of falsely representing the concentration of high frequency traders in its private trading platform, known as a dark pool, institutional stock trading orders unavailable to the public.
Schneiderman’s filing in New York State Supreme Court charges Barclays “falsified marketing materials, and misrepresented a service that purported to protect investors from predatory trading behavior,” according to a report in The New York Times.
“The facts alleged in our complaint show that Barclays demonstrated a disturbing disregard for its investors in a systematic pattern of fraud and deceit,” Schneiderman said in a news release. “Barclays grew its dark pool by telling investors they were diving into safe waters. According to the lawsuit, Barclays’ dark pool was full of predators — there at Barclays’ invitation.”
The Attorney General also charged Barclays favored its own dark pool when routing client orders, which contradicts claims the bank has made.
Schneiderman began investigating the dark pool trading in October, referring to the investigation as “Insider Trading 2.0.”