Barclays reveals it is helping watchdogs with the investigations into currency market manipulation (Photo: Reuters)
Barclays reveals it is helping watchdogs with the investigations into currency market manipulation (Photo: Reuters)

Barclays has revealed that it is cooperating with regulators who are investigating potential manipulation of currency markets.

According to Barclays' third quarter results statement, the group said it was reviewing its foreign exchange trading "covering a several year period," following a number of global regulators' probes into possible FX fixing.

IBTimes UK exclusively revealed that a whistleblower alerted regulators in the US, UK and Switzerland in 2011 about some of the world's largest trading companies and banks manipulating benchmark sterling, US dollar and Swiss franc currency rates.

However, it was not until this year that these authorities started investigating the allegations of market rigging.

Barclays is the latest bank to reveal that it is speaking to regulators over potential FX rigging.

On 29 October, Deutsche Bank revealed that its balance sheet was hit by billions of euros of litigation costs which subsequently led the German lender to report a near 100% drop in profits.

According to Deutsche Bank's latest quarterly results statement, the group revealed that its total litigation reserves pot, which is used for anticipated legal difficulties, stands at €4.1bn (£3.5bn, $5.6bn), after rising by €1.2bn.

The US' Commodity Futures Trading Commission has prodded Deutsche Bank and Citigroup to hand over any evidence of wrongdoing related to potential currency market manipulation.

Deutsche Bank has allegedly spent millions of dollars going through traders' emails and chat sessions looking for specific dates, phrases and keywords in a bid to root out evidence of wrongdoing.

The daily $4.7tn currency market is the largest in the financial system and is pegged to the value of trillions of funds, derivatives and financial products. Morningstar estimates that $3.6tn in funds, including pension and savings accounts, track global indexes.

Meanwhile, UBS followed in Deutsche Bank's footsteps and said it has deferred a key earnings target by a year because of temporary demands to hold extra capital to deal with unresolved legal issues.

According to UBS' third quarter results announcement, the Swiss banking giant has imposed a temporary 50% capital top-up over the coming year, in a bid to deal with potential costs of unknown legal probes, compliance issues and other risk matters.