Morning papers: Biggest banks face forex probe questions

The global probe into foreign exchange manipulation has widened to include 15 of the world’s biggest banks and some of the most actively traded currencies, as lenders scramble to help authorities in exchange for leniency, reports the Financial Times.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority – one of seven regulators handling the worldwide investigation – has in so far requested information from at least 15 banks, according to two people close to the situation. The rapidly accelerating probe is looking at whether traders manipulated markets by sharing information and trading ahead of their clients.

EDF accused of blackmail over call to cut green levies

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MPs and energy experts rounded on EDF Energy last night for “blackmailing” the Government after threatening to raise energy bills unless consumer-funded green levies were slashed, reports The Times.

The aggressive stance by the French state-backed energy company, which increased prices yesterday by 3.9 per cent, ratchets up the pressure on ministers, who are reviewing whether the levies that cost households more than £112 a year each should be funded instead from general taxation.

Elizabeth Warren challenges Obama to break up ‘too-big-to-fail’ Wall St banks

Senator Elizabeth Warren cemented her growing reputation as a darling of the political left on Tuesday with a wide-ranging speech challenging the Obama administration to take on Wall Street and break up its biggest banks, reports The Guardian.

Amid renewed speculation that she might challenge Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination, Warren appeared at a congressional event to attack regulators for failing to tackle the problem of financial institutions that are “too big to fail”.

London wins first offshore renminbi issue

London has bolstered its position as Europe’s central offshore trading hub for China’s renminbi currency as China’s biggest bank issued its first offshore bond in the city, reports the Financial Times.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in the world by market capitalisation, issued a Rmb2bn ($328m) bond in London on Tuesday, becoming the first mainland Chinese bank to do so.

Rents soar but buy-to-let mortgage rates hit record low as lenders slash costs to tempt borrowers

Lenders are luring lucrative would-be landlords onto their books with a record number of buy-to-let mortgage deals at less than 3 per cent.

Banks and building societies have flooded the market with buy-to-let loans and slashed their cost to tempt borrowers into doing business with them.