Ten Banks in FX Trading Probe Have Handed Evidence to FCA
Ten banks turned over evidence to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority as part of an investigation into the manipulation of foreign-exchange benchmarks, its chief executive officer told lawmakers.
The allegations are “as bad as Libor,” FCA CEO Martin Wheatley said in London today, referring to the global probe into rigging of the London interbank offered rate. Those investigations have resulted in global fines of about $6 billion and led to reviews of other benchmarks, including currency rates.
The regulator is investigating “a number of benchmarks that operate in London,” Wheatley said. The foreign-exchange probe is unlikely to be concluded this year, he said, without identifying any banks under investigation.
The regulator said in October it was opening a formal probe into currency-rate trading, joining regulators in the U.S. and Switzerland in reviewing the $5.3 trillion-a-day market. The world’s seven biggest foreign-exchange dealers have now all taken action against their employees, with at least 17 traders suspended, put on leave or fired.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has handed over records of instant messages to the FCA after concluding a former currency trader’s communications with counterparts at other firms may have been inappropriate, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
WRAPUP 2-Forex probe widens as New York banking regulator steps in
Feb 5 (Reuters) – New York banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky is seeking documents from some of the biggest banks in foreign exchange trading, including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Barclays, a source familiar with the matter said Wednesday, as a global probe into possible market manipulation widens.
At least seven other law enforcement offices and regulators internationally are investigating whether banks rigged the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency markets. Martin Wheatley, chief executive officer of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, said on Tuesday that his watchdog group’s probe could extend into 2015, and that the allegations it is looking into are “every bit as bad” as the Libor manipulation scandal.
UPDATE 1 -Citi’s global head of foreign exchange to leave bank -memo
Feb 5 (Reuters) – The global head of foreign exchange at Citigroup, the world’s second largest currency trader, is leaving the bank, according to an internal bank memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
London-based Anil Prasad’s departure, however, is not related to the global investigation into allegations of currency market manipulation, a source familiar with the matter said.
“Anil’s decision is his own and entirely unrelated to the on-going FX investigations,” the source said.
Citi sees 14.9 percent of the average $5.3 trillion that flows through the world currency markets every day, according to the last annual poll by Euromoney, just behind market leader Deutsche Bank AG which sees 15.2 percent.
Prasad joined Citi in India in 1986 and relocated to New York two years later. In 1996, he moved to London but left the bank the following year to join Natwest Capital Markets.
He returned to Citi in 2000, and was appointed Global Head of Foreign Exchange & Local Markets in February 2007. His successor will be announced in the coming weeks.