Who isn’t probing banks’ alleged currency rigging?

trader at screen

New York's Department of Financial Services is very much the late arrival to the worldwide investigation into whether up to 15 huge global banks manipulated the foreign exchange market.

But its request for documents from banks will disturb them, because it has a reputation for being particularly aggressive - as the UK bank Standard Chartered found to its cost when the Department of Financial Services pursued it for breaches of money laundering rules.

A dizzying number of regulators are looking at this latest alleged scandal, including the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, the Department of Justice, the New York Fed, the Office of the Controller of the Currency and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, all in the US, Bafin in Germany and Finma in Switzerland.

I am told that the competition authorities in Brussels are also thinking about getting involved.

In the UK, RBS, Lloyds and Barclays are all reviewing thousands and thousands of emails and instant messages sent by their currency traders, to assess whether they attempted to rig prices.

It is looking very messy and expensive for the big banks - with Martin Wheatley, the chief executive of the FCA, having told MPs yesterday that the allegations against them are every bit as bad as their abuses of the Libor interest-rate market.

Which implies that as and when the investigations conclude, probably next year, fines and penalties could run to billions of pounds.

Robert Peston Article written by Robert Peston Robert Peston Economics editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    159. Darren Shepperd

    Well not realistically, shareholders do not actually do the employing or interviewing. However it is irrelevant. We do not blame employers, hirers, for employing people who happen later to commit a crime, it is impossible to guard against. The criminal is only the person doing it. They will be the most likely to know they are doing wrong, it is their area of work after all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    If there`s any evidence of foreign exchange manipulation don`t fine, imprison. It will only be the public who will ultimately pay those fines.

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    160. Fairsfair.
    How right you are In todays twisted world one is a thief and the other a "wealth creator".
    If the truth was really told this whole sorry mess is down to "the regulators" who turned a blind eye and failed miserably and yet they remain the ones who have changed least of all. Same people "born again" and following their same self interest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    It is a sign of the insane world we have come to accept, that if you steal a coat from a shop you are prosecuted, but if you cheat people out of millions you continue to be rewarded with high bonuses.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    you conveniently ignore its shareholders who vote in the board who employ these illegally acting bankers. Its also these shareholders who reward illegal actions by allowing vast salaries which they could veto in the end shareholders are the company owners and as such have the final say on all despite your attempting to ignore such facts


Comments 5 of 163


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