Commerce Commission investigates currency trading amid global probe into manipulation

The Commerce Commission has an investigation underway into the foreign exchange market, amid a global probe into alleged manipulation of currency rates.

The New Zealand regulator's active investigation into the currency trading market comes as at least a dozen authorities in North America, Asia and Europe conduct inquiries into claims traders colluded with their counterparts at rival banks to set foreign exchange rates by sharing client information.

The Commerce Commission has an "investigation in that space," a spokeswoman told BusinessDesk. She declined to comment on the scope of the probe or any of the parties involved.

The New Zealand dollar was the world's 10th most traded currency with US$105 billion in average daily turnover in April 2013 and accounting for about 2 percent of the global US$5 trillion traded daily, according to the Bank for International Settlement. The bulk of trading in the kiwi occurs outside New Zealand.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission joined the worldwide probe earlier this month, telling the Financial Times it would likely take a year to complete the investigation.

The Financial Markets Authority is aware of the international inquiries, and will "continue to monitor developments here and abroad, and to liaise with agencies in New Zealand, Australia and further afield," a spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Since the allegations of global market manipulation emerged in a Bloomberg report last year, about 30 foreign exchange traders have been suspended, put on leave, or fired, of which seven have come from Swiss bank UBS, the world's fourth-biggest currency trader, according to a Reuters report. Other firms reported to have suspended, put on leave, or fired staff include Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, and Barclays.

Earlier this month the Bank of England, the UK central bank, suspended a staff member pending an internal review into allegations its employees were aware of the market manipulation.

The probe into foreign exchange trading comes after a similar investigation into fixing the London Interbank Offered Rate, the borrowing rate between lenders known as the Libor. That probe resulted in financial institutions paying some US$6 billion to settle civil and criminal claims.

(BusinessDesk)


Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7256 0.0035 0.48%
AUD 0.9575 0.0001 0.01%
EUR 0.6484 0.0033 0.51%
GBP 0.5536 0.0034 0.62%
HKD 5.6267 0.0270 0.48%
JPY 73.9770 0.3330 0.45%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1323.7 2.760 2016-08-29T00:
Oil Brent 49.5 0.090 2016-08-29T00:
Oil Nymex 47.0 -0.660 2016-08-29T00:
Silver Index 18.8 0.120 2016-08-29T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7367.3 7394.4 7367.3 0.21%
NASDAQ 5223.8 5245.1 5218.9 0.26%
DAX 10503.9 10566.7 10587.8 -0.41%
DJI 18421.3 18523.1 18395.4 0.58%
FTSE 6816.9 6857.3 6816.9 0.31%
HKSE 22904.2 22922.7 22909.5 -0.38%
NI225 16631.1 16764.6 16360.7 2.30%
ASX 5515.5 5516.7 5515.5 -0.84%