Switzerland’s attorney general’s office has revealed that it is currently in talks with authorities probing the alleged rigging of a key foreign exchange benchmark.
“Regarding manipulations in currency trading, the office of the attorney general is in contact with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and the Competition Commission,” said a spokeswoman Jeannette Balmer, in an e-mailed statement on Monday to Bloomberg News. “There is currently no further information that can be made available to the public.”
The Swiss Competition Commission revealed last week that it is probing eight banks such as UBS, the country’s largest and Credit Suisse Group, Switzerland’s second biggest for any evidence that their traders may have been involved in manipulating the foreign exchange rates.
Yesterday, the country’s weekly newspaper SonntagsZeitung disclosed that the attorney general is involved in the investigations over the whole saga. The prosecutor will check whether dealers broke the Alpine nation’s famed banking secrecy laws by sharing data of customer orders with rival banks.
When contacted on the matter, Balmer said she couldn’t deny or confirm the report.
Finma, the Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority, announced last October that it had launched investigations against several lenders over alleged malfeasance. The investigation has also extended to the U.K. and the U.S., whose authorities are also probing whether local banks colluded to fix currency rates. Other countries currently investigating the allegations include New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong.
Other banks that are currently being investigated by the Swiss watchdog include Julius Baer Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Barclays Plc, Zuercher Kantonalbank and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.
To contact the reporter of this story; Yashu Gola at Yashu@forexminute.com