FCA joins overseas regulators in forex market probes

The Financial Conduct Authority has launched a number of investigations alongside both UK and foreign agencies relating to trading on the international foreign exchange markets.

The UK conduct regulator confirmed in an announcement yesterday (16 October) that it was launching a range of formal probes following a preliminary investigation in June that came in the wake of complaints alleging that banks had been attempting to manipulate currency benchmarks.

According to FTAdviser sister title the Financial Times, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is also investigating the alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets. The Swiss regulator has also previously confirmed it is looking into forex trading.

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The investigation is focusing on around eight of the larger operators in the multi-trillion global currency market, the FT said, including banks such as Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Barclays.

RBS confirmed to the FT that it is involved in the probe. It said: “Our ongoing inquiry into this matter continues and we are co-operating fully with the FCA and our other regulators.”

A FCA spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are conducting investigations alongside a number of other agencies both in the UK and abroad into a number of firms relating to trading on the foreign exchange market.

“As part of this we are gathering information from a wide range of sources including market participants. Our investigations are at an early stage and it will be some time before we conclude whether there has been any misconduct which will lead to enforcement action.

“We will not comment further on our investigations.”