Business

Swiss probe banks over foreign exchange market

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Image caption Weko opened a preliminary investigation last October.

Switzerland's competition commission is investigating possible manipulation of foreign exchange rates at several British, US and Swiss banks.

RBS, Barclays, UBS, Credit Suisse, Zuercher Kantonal Bank, Julius Baer, JP Morgan and Citigroup are being probed by Swiss competition commission, Weko.

"Evidence exists that these banks colluded to manipulate exchange rates in foreign currency trades," Weko said.

The regulator opened a preliminary investigation last October.

Weko said the information it had so far suggested that most important exchange rates are affected.

Authorities worldwide are investigating allegations that some foreign exchange traders have colluded in setting certain key exchange rates in the foreign exchange market, resulting in big profits.

They are examining whether traders from different banks worked together to influence currency prices, and whether they failed to accurately represent to customers how they were determining the prices.

The head of the Financial Conduct Authority, Martin Wheatley, said last month that currency manipulation was "every bit as bad" as the Libor scandal, where banks including Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS paid fines totalling $6bn relating to Libor fixing.

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