Antony Jenkins
Antony Jenkins, chief executive of BarclaysReuters

Barclays boss Antony Jenkins said if the bank has made mistakes over its high frequency trading (HFT) practices on so-called 'dark pools' - trading platforms that do not disclose trade or party details publicly until after the transaction is completed – then it will accept the "sanction" and move on.

However, speaking to CNBC TV, he said that the bank had a "strong defence" and intends to "robustly" defend itself through the courts.

"We responded robustly, to the allegations that the attorney general made, we investigated them fully using internal and external resources and we believe that our position on those allegations is strong and will obviously be proceeding with that through the court system," said Jenkins on US network CNBC.

When asked by whether "so you don't think you did nothing wrong, in that case", Jenkins replied: "As we said in our detailed response, we believe that our defence is strong and we intend to defend robustly those allegations that were made against us and I think that it is the right thing to do."

"Obviously, if we have made mistakes, if we have got things wrong, then we'll acknowledge that, will take the sanction, we'll learn and we'll move on. But where we think we are on strong ground, we will move onto defend our position," he added.

Barclays' HFT Controversy

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit claiming Barclays maximised profits by executing a bulk of transactions through HFT on dark pool trading platforms.

The bank's HFT controversy bears close similarity to practices exposed by Michael Lewis's book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.

Lewis's book claims that, with the use of expensive fibre optic lines, high frequency traders are able to get ahead of the regular buyer's order, allowing them to profit from knowledge of prices in slower feeds.

In other words, those people with the means at their disposal can essentially rig the markets.

According to Schneiderman, who based his lawsuit around internal communications provided by former Barclays employees, the bank claimed dark pool trading allowed it to "protect" clients from "predatory traders" by using HFT speed to get better prices for customers.

He alleges, however, that Barclays in fact used this practice to court the very traders it claimed to avoid.

Barclays said the lawsuit should be dismissed because "many allegations were taken out of context and Schneiderman misconstrued parts of its marketing material" for its dark pool trading platform.

It added that Schneiderman "does not have the authority to accuse the bank of fraud and deceit under New York's Martin Act", which aims to protect investors when the purchase, sale or exchange of a security is misrepresented.

Barclays, as well as Jenkins and former CEO Bob Diamond, also face a US class action lawsuit against for allegedly lying to customers over its dark pool trading practices.

The lawsuit, filed in New York by Barbara Strougo, names Barclays, Jenkins, Diamond, finance director Tushar Morzaria and ex-finance chief Chris Lucas as defendants.