Compliance

More Major Banks Fall Under Investigative Net Over Alleged Forex Market Abuses

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 4 November 2013

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In a potential global financial scandal that could rank alongside the LIBOR-rigging disclosures that have led to huge fines, media reports said banks such as JP Morgan and Citigroup have become the latest banks to confirm they were working with regulators into probes on foreign exchange trading.

In a potential global financial scandal that could rank
alongside the LIBOR-rigging disclosures that have led to huge fines, media
reports said banks such as JP Morgan and Citigroup have become the latest banks
to confirm they were working with regulators into probes on foreign exchange
trading.

This publication is in contact with Citigroup and JP Morgan
about the reports; JP Morgan declined to comment. Citigroup had not responded at the time of going to
press.

“These investigations are in the early stages and the firm
is co-operating with the relevant authorities,” JP Morgan was quoted by the UK's Financial Times as saying in a quarterly filing. Barclays also confirmed it had
suspended six foreign exchange traders, the report said. This publication has
also contacted the UK-listed bank on the matter.

A number of large banks, such as UBS, Deutsche Bank and
Royal Bank of Scotland
confirmed they were working with regulators on investigations into the
multi-trillion-dollar foreign exchange market.

The investigation will be a blow to banks that might have
hoped that, after months of fines for LIBOR-rigging and other issues such as
anti-money laundering violations, the wave of regulatory punishment might be
coming to an end.

The FT said HSBC
and Credit Suisse have also launched internal probes or received requests for
information from regulators, according to people familiar with the situation.

Reuters,
meanwhile, quoted Lars Christensen, co-chief executive of Denmark’s Saxo
Bank
as warning that the issue could be used as an excuse by politicians to
impose
tight regulations on the forex market, leading to over-regulation. He
pointed out that the forex market is so large and liquid that it was
hard to manipulate; it is also unclear on what basis the investigations
had arisen.

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