Friday 9 December 2016

Swiss authorities probe seven banks over precious metal price fixing

Published 28/09/2015 | 08:21

Gold was seen as a safe bet in the economic downturn
Gold was seen as a safe bet in the economic downturn

The Swiss competition regulator said on Monday it had opened an investigation into possible manipulation of the precious metals market by several major banks.

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Switzerland's WEKO watchdog said its investigation, the result of a preliminary probe, was looking at possible collusion of bid/ask spreads in the market by UBS, Julius Baer , Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays , Morgan Stanley and Mitsui.

The Swiss Competition Commission said it had indications that the banks had "possibly concluded illegal competition defying deals" in the trade of precious metals such as gold and silver.

It said that it had particular suspicions about "possible price fixing deals, especially in connection with 'Spreads'", which is the difference between the bid and asking price, it said.

A spokesman said the investigation would likely conclude in either 2016 or 2017.

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