April 24, 2015 / 7:05 PM / 4 years ago

'Flash crash' trader's ex-employer had no concerns about him

A man walks past the address where Nav Sarao Futures Limited is registered, in London April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

(Reuters) - Futex, the trading firm that for five years employed the Briton accused of fraud and market manipulation by U.S. authorities related to the May 2010 ‘flash crash,’ had no concerns about his trading during his tenure, the firm said in a statement Friday.

Futex, based in Woking, southwest of London, said that Navinder Singh Sarao worked at the company from early 2003 until early 2008, and there were “no incidents of any impropriety during his time with Futex,” they said in a statement.

Sarao, 36, was charged by U.S. authorities in a criminal and civil complaint with using software to “spoof” markets, effectively manipulating the S&P 500 e-Mini futures contract ESc1, the most-heavily traded U.S. futures contract.

Authorities allege his trading activity was a contributing factor to the May 6, 2010 flash crash, when about $1 trillion (0.66 trillion pounds) in market value was temporarily wiped out in a matter of minutes.

He is currently in jail in the United Kingdom, having yet to post a 5 million-pound ($7.5 million) bond.

“Navinder’s method involved no use of algorithmic trading and as such was purely a ‘point and click’ style of trading whilst he was at Futex,” the firm said. “His trading did not give Futex (nor the regulators) any cause for concern.”

Futex is an electronic-trading office where people rent desks and computers and systems from which they trade. The company charges a fee and takes a share of any profits traders make. 

Reporting by David Gaffen; Editing by Alan Crosby

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