Global financial regulators get another bank on board to help them assess the London foreign exchange fix fairness.
Barclays (NYSE:BCS) — the UK’s third biggest bank by market cap — is the next shoe to drop in financial regulators’ efforts to mitigate potential risks of currency rates rigging. In its third quarter interim management statement Barclays reported that following the regulators indicating the start of an investigation regarding manipulation of certain currency exchange rates benchmarks (more precisely the 4pm London Fix) the bank is fully cooperating with authorities.
Just as the Libor rates fiasco uncovered last year, the London Fix is used as a benchmark price in the price calculation of certain derivatives transactions, hence an assistance to certain trading desks could be provided by active collusion by the biggest foreign exchange dealers. As part of the global investigation, Barclays now joins yesterday’s unveilings of UBS and Deutsche Bank participation in the probe.
Following inquiries by several regulators the bank is assisting them in reviewing foreign exchange trading covering a period of several years before August 2013. The bank stated that so far it cannot predict the impact of these investigations on the company.
This is getting familiar to the legendary Queen classic “Another One Bites The Dust”, that’s not to say that we think the allegations are true, but as they say – three is a crowd. We certainly hope this probe will not shock us as much as the Libor investigation did, but with this amount of information is starting to flash “yellow” alert. We doubt that the regulators would be going through so much trouble just to make it to the news.