UBS has made a whistleblower deal with Brazil. Reuters

Swiss bank UBS has signed a leniency agreement with Brazilian authorities to avoid punishment in the alleged rigging of the country's currency market.

Local newspaper Valor Econômico reported that UBS signed an agreement with Brazil's antitrust watchdog, the Council for Economic Defence (Cade), to provide evidence about the manipulation between 2009-2011.

Cade earlier alleged in a report that 15 foreign banks colluded to devise a scheme to influence benchmark currency rates in Brazil and block competitors from entering the market.

UBS was immediately not available to comment on the news.

Brazil's foreign exchange (Forex) market is estimated to be worth about $3tn (£1.9tn, €2.7tn) per year, excluding swaps and derivative transactions.

Following the deal with UBS, the Brazilian authorities began investigating the banks and 30 specific individuals.

The banks named in the Cade probe are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Nomura Holdings Inc, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Standard Bank Group Ltd, Standard Chartered Plc and UBS.

According to the deal, UBS will be free from punishment, while the other banks will face fines ranging from 0.1% to 20% of revenues generated from Forex transactions.

The banks being investigated have 30 days to present their defence. They may also propose settlements to reduce the severity of punishments.