A New York Stock Exchange floor specialist who manages the stock trading of
for FleetBoston's trading unit reportedly was placed on administrative leave for mishandling customer orders.
The trader was removed from the floor on Monday, according to a report in
The Wall Street Journal
"This is an internal Fleet matter that we're currently handling," said Fleet spokesman James Mahoney, according to the report.
The New York Stock Exchange declined to comment.
A trader contacted by
said the specialist was inappropriately pairing buy and sell orders. Typically, specialists have to match buy and sell orders and aren't supposed to profit off the trade, the trader said.
"This specialist was trading for the spread; in other words, he was buying the stock that was for sale and selling the stock that was to buy and making the difference between the two," the trader said. "That's fine as long as the orders can't be paired off, but it seems that he was not acting at all as an auctioneer and whenever possible he was just profiting."