Foul Play Down Under? ASIC Joins The Party of FX Manipulation Probes

Australia’s financial markets regulator joins the FX rate manipulation probe, in order to investigate if misconduct occurred within its jurisdiction

The global probe into alleged manipulation of FX rates by financial institutions has spread even further afield, with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) having declared today that it is commencing a review to ascertain whether any misconduct relating to FX trading has occurred on Australian soil.

In a dialog with the Financial Times, ASIC chief Greg Medcalf explained that the Australian regulatory authority was aware of current developments in other jurisdictions via co-operation with its international equivalents.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr. Medcalf stated that “We are commencing a review to ascertain whether any misconduct relating to foreign exchange trading may have occurred in Australia, and whether from an Australian perspective ASIC has concerns about the foreign exchange market.”

Australia, a region which is synonymous with a strong financial markets economy and highly diligent regulatory parameters, joins several other nations which play host to large, developed financial centers including the United States, Great Britain, Hong Kong and Singapore, the latter of which conducted its own surveillance in 2013 independently from the current probe, unearthing 133 traders which had manipulated financial benchmarks within institutional trading desks, censuring them accordingly.

Major FX dealers Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC along with European institutions Deutsche Bank and UBS have pledged to co-operate with international regulators on one side of the Atlantic, with JP Morgan Chase doing so in North America.

With a number of senior traders having been placed on indefinite leave, removed from their positions or had the metaphoric finger pointed at them for their alleged involvement in the fixing of FX rates across so many trading desks, Australia joins the probe at a time when its profile could not be much higher.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.

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