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Irish trader suspended amid international forex scandal

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Foreign exchange

Foreign exchange

Foreign exchange

Roisin Burke

AN Irish trader is among those suspended following an investigation into the rigging of the global $5trillion-a-day (€3.6trillion) foreign exchange market that is expected to lead to multibillion euro fines and litigation.

The individual, a London-based senior figure at one of the world's big international banks, was suspended in September but has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing.

In a scandal that threatens to rival the Libor affair in scale, 21 traders at nine of the world's biggest banks have been suspended, placed on leave, or fired amid investigations into alleged collusion and manipulation of the foreign currency market.

The market manipulation inquiry that has rocked the industry involves UBS, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche, Standard Chartered and JP Morgan.

One part of the investigation focuses on electronic chatrooms with nicknames like 'The Cartel' and 'The Mafia'.

Messages have been discovered in which it is claimed some traders appeared to share sensitive market information with competitors and joke about influencing exchange rates, it has been reported. Transcripts of conversations have been handed over to financial regulators.

The investigation was triggered last year when Britain's Financial Conduct Authority began to look into activity in London, which is the biggest foreign currency trading hub in the world. Investigations spread to New York, Tokyo and elsewhere. Several banks have handed over materials to the authorities.

The recent Libor scandal has led to over €6bn worth of fines in the banking sector.

Sunday Indo Business