FX Fixing Scandal: HSBC Suspends 2 Traders on US Investigation
FX Fixing Scandal: HSBC Suspends 2 Traders on US InvestigationReuters

Britain's biggest bank HSBC has suspended two foreign exchange traders amid a number of investigations from the US, UK and Switzerland over the alleged manipulation of key FX rates.

HSBC told IBTimes UK that "[we] can confirm the suspension of two foreign exchange traders in London." However, HSBC would not give any further detail.

The daily $5tn (£3.1tn, €3.7tn) currency market is the largest in the financial system and is pegged to the value of funds, derivatives and financial products.

Morningstar estimates that $3.6tn in funds, including pension and savings accounts, track global indexes.

FX rates are calculated are compiled by using data from a variety of submitted provisions on a number of platforms, such as Thomson Reuters.

It is then calculated by WM, a unit of State Street, to form WM/Thomson Reuters at 1600 GMT daily.

Banks' Internal Crackdowns

On 16 January, sources said that banks are feeling the pressure as "hundreds" of traders are tipped to be implicated in the suspected manipulation of key foreign exchange rates across the globe.

According to a number of unnamed sources, the prolific use of electronic chatrooms show groups of senior FX traders, known by names such as "The Cartel" and "The Bandits' Club".

These groups are alleged to have shared market-sensitive information surrounding the popular benchmark currency rate known as the London "fix".

However, following the US, UK and Swiss regulators' crackdown on the banks, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, UBS, and Goldman Sachs have all banned electronic chatroom activities.

Meanwhile, two of the largest FX dealing banks on the planet, Deutsche Bank and Citi, have suspended a number of traders and spent millions of pounds in a bid to help regulators with their investigations into FX rate rigging.

On 15 January, reports said that Deutsche Bank suspended one New York based trader who deals in Argentian pesos, after allegedly finding emails that indicated attempts to manipulate benchmark foreign exchange rates.

During the same week, Citi had allegedly fired one employee after a period of suspension.