Swiss Regulator Launches FX Probe

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said that it is conducting investigations into several Swiss financial institutions (FIs) in connection with possible manipulation of foreign exchange (FX) markets.

FINMA also said it is coordinating closely with authorities in other countries as multiple banks around the world are potentially implicated. The Swiss regulator added that it would not give any further details on the investigations or the banks potentially involved.

UBS and Credit Suisse declined to comment while a spokesman for Zuercher Kantonal Bank said the bank was currently not aware of a FINMA investigation.

The UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said in June it was looking into a report that traders manipulated benchmark FX rates that are widely used by companies and funds. A FCA spokesman declined to confirm whether it was working with FINMA on its probe.

Financial benchmarks have come under increased global scrutiny after the discovery that a key benchmark interest rate had been rigged. To date, US and UK authorities have charged seven men and fined four financial firms about US$2.7bn in the investigation into the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor), used as a benchmark for more than $300 trillion of financial products.

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) indicated this week that it was about to charge more individuals in connection with the Libor scandal.

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