By Catherine Ngai and Florence Tan
NEW YORK/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Standard Chartered is planning to launch an energy trading business in New York, two sources familiar with the matter said, in what appears to be the first major bank move into the sector in the United States after years of retreat on Wall Street due to cutbacks and stricter regulation.
The British bank has hired Matthew Hastings, a former oil options trader at PetroChina International America in Houston, as its new head of energy trading in London, according to the sources this week. He will replace Cyril Youinou, a former Lehman Brothers trader, they added.
The sources declined to be named because the matter is not public.
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Standard Chartered has also tapped Hugo Picca, former head of Europe-Middle East-Africa energy trading and global exotics at Credit Suisse, to trade oil options, the sources said.
A spokesman for Standard Chartered in New York declined to comment on the expansion plans.
In June, Standard Chartered Americas Chief Executive Torry Berntsen told Reuters the bank was aiming to expand its U.S. presence.
The bank already trades energy contracts in London and Singapore, while also catering to corporate clients like oil and gas producers looking to lock in future production.
Banks have been retreating from commodities trading as profits declined under tougher regulations with the passage of the U.S. Dodd-Frank legislation in 2010.
In 2013, Deutsche Bank AG pulled the plug on its global commodities trading business, following RBS Sempra, which left in 2010. Late last year, Barclays Plc became the latest bank to exit energy trading to invest those resources elsewhere, while others, like Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, have also scaled back.
Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs reported its worst quarter in commodities in more than 18 years of publicly reporting earnings, as sources indicated that its business, too, would undergo a shakeup.
(Reporting by Catherine Ngai in New York and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Richard Chang)