BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas has pledged to improve its senior management oversight and controlsReuters

BNP Paribas has agreed to pay a fine of $246m (£188m) to settle currency manipulation charges.

The US Federal Reserve said the bank had engaged in "unsafe and unsound practices in the foreign exchange markets" and alleged that its traders had used electronic chatrooms to communicate with competitors about their trading positions.

BNP Paribas said in a statement that it "deeply regrets" the misconduct, which is alleged to have taken place between 2007 and 2013, and that it had already implemented measures to improve its management oversight and controls.

The French banking group is the latest to be fined by the Fed over the forex scandal after UBS, Deutsche Bank and Barclays.

"The board levied the fine after finding deficiencies in BNP Paribas's oversight of, and internal controls over, FX traders who buy and sell US dollars and foreign currencies for the firm's own accounts and for customers," the Fed said.

"The firm failed to detect and address that its traders used electronic chatrooms to communicate with competitors about their trading positions.

"The board's order requires BNP Paribas to improve its senior management oversight and controls relating to the firm's FX trading."

Jason Katz, a former trader at BNP Paribas, pleaded guilty in a US federal court in January to participating in a price-fixing conspiracy, becoming the first person to admit criminal wrongdoing in the forex scandal.

The Federal Reserve Board banned Katz from the banking industry after he admitted to having colluded with other bankers to rig the exchange rates of the Brazilian real, the Russian Ruble and the South African Rand.

"BNP Paribas deeply regrets the past misconduct which was a clear breach of the high standards on which the group operates," BNP Paribas said after the Fed announced its fine.

"Conducting its business in a responsible and ethical manner is a cornerstone of BNP Paribas's values and the group will continue to make improvements to ensure that it delivers on its responsibilities to all its stakeholders."

BNP Paribas agreed to pay $350m to the New York Department of Financial Services in May to settle allegations of currency rigging.