UK Serious Fraud Office closes Forex market investigation

The Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has today closed the authority’s investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the foreign exchange market (Forex).

The probe was launched in July 2014, as global regulators investigated collusion and price manipulation allegation. The SFO decision comes after what the body called “a thorough and independent investigation lasting over one and a half years and involving in excess of half a million documents”.

The reason for the probe closure is lack of evidence. The SFO has concluded, based on the information and material we have obtained, that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. The SFO states that even if proven and taken at its highest, the alleged conduct would not meet the evidential test for mounting a prosecution for an offence contrary to English law.

The SFO adds, however, that it continues to co-operate with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over their ongoing investigation.

In November 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed £1.1 billion in fines on five big banks over Forex market manipulation. At the same time, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) imposed fines worth a total of $1.4 billion on the same five banks. Further sanctions followed and individuals have been charged.

For the full announcement on SFO’s website, click here.

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