UBS Suspend Forex Traders as Investigation into Alleged Forex Rates Fixing Deepens

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UBS Suspend Forex Traders as Investigation into Alleged Forex Rates Fixing DeepensUBS AG has suspended foreign exchange dealers in Switzerland, the United States and Singapore as its probe on the suspected manipulation of benchmark rates broadened.

One person is Onur Sert, a New York-based emerging-markets spot trader, and at least three more globally, a person privy to the matter told Bloomberg.

When contacted, both Sert and UBS London-based spokesman Dominic von Arx refused to comment on the matter. UBS opened its own investigations in 2013 after a June report by Bloomberg that said that forex traders had conspired to fix the WM/Reuters rates, a key benchmark used by companies and individuals worldwide.

Last year, Zurich-based UBS suspended its co-chief trader Niall O’Riordan after authorities said they were investigation the $5.3 trillion-per-day market. The company has taken drastic measures so far, such as prohibiting employees from instant messaging platforms that involve other lenders.

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The bank’s stock remained slightly unchanged at 18.08 Swiss francs as of 11.00 a.m. Zurich time.

Regulators in Europe, Asia, North America as well as Australia are probing whether dealers of some big banks colluded to fix the WM/Reuters rates by making trades before and during the 1-minute windows when the benchmark rates are fixed.

More than a dozen banks are sifting through troves of instant messages, e-mails and phone records of their forex dealers to check for any evidence of the malpractice.

More than two dozen foreign exchange employees have either been sent on leave, suspended or fired by various banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup and Barclays Plc. So far, no trader or bank is yet to be accused of any malpractice by the respective governments.

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