South Korea joins global Forex probes for rigging by banks

Multiple media outlets reported Wednesday that South Korea’s anti-trust watchdog the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said it has launched a probe into alleged Forex market rigging by global banks, following a report that banks were indeed under investigation.

The Seoul Economic Daily said Wednesday that Barclays, Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS were under named as under investigation.

“A probe has been launched” into how alleged foreign currency price fixing by international banks may have hurt South Korean firms, a Fair Trade Commission official told AFP, declining to disclose details.

Interesting to note is that the Korean won is not mentioned in the probe. Instead, the KFTC is probing whether manipulation of the price of US dollars and euros, and of derivatives markets, damaged South Korean financial institutions and companies, the Seoul Economic Daily said.

This past year U.S and British regulators fined six major global banks — Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citicorp, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and Bank of America — a total of nearly 6 billion between them for rigging and manipulating the Forex market.

Also this month, South Africa’s competition watchdog opened an investigation into Forex price fixing of the rand by Citigroup, Barclays, and other banks. The investigation if banks are found guilty, could bring in a settlement the likes of which could be the largest in South Africa’s history.

There should be more to follow up with in the weeks to come as this new front has been opened in the global forex rigging probes, which don’t seem to want to go away. Stay tuned to LeapRate…

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