Britain’s Anti-Fraud Office Launches Criminal Investigation into FX Rigging Allegations

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Britain’s Anti-Fraud Office Launches Criminal Investigation into FX Rigging AllegationsThe British anti-fraud agency disclosed on Monday that it had commenced a criminal probe into the allegations of manipulation of the $5.3 trillion-per-day foreign exchange market.

“The director of the Serious Fraud Office has today opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the foreign exchange market,” said the agency in a statement, according to Reuters.

About 15 regulators worldwide are looking into the allegations of rigging and manipulation of benchmark rates in the mostly unsupervised foreign exchange market. Traders are thought to have used online chat platforms to collude to fix the benchmark prices.

Much of the investigation is centered on London’s 4 p.m. foreign exchange fix, which is a 1-minute window whereby the main exchange rates are fixed. The rates are normally used to price trillions of dollars worth of trade deals and investments internationally.

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The UK financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, began its investigation last October while the Bank of England in the first quarter hired respected attorney Lord Anthony Grabiner to investigate if any of its employees colluded in the scheme to rig the benchmark rates. The US Department of Justice also launched a similar investigation in October.

Various lenders such as Lloyds, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Citigroup have either suspended or fired forex traders over the forex benchmark rigging allegations.

Meanwhile, retail forex brokerage IronFX Global has opened its latest overseas office in Johannesburg, South Africa. The business is registered and licensed by the Financial Services Board of South Africa in the capacity of Financial Services Provider.

The office, which will be one of IronFX’s EMEA hubs, is the latest one to be opened as the company continues opening offices across the world, having already established itself in Europe, the Far East, Australasia and the Great Britain. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Yashu Gola at yashu@forexminute.com