UPDATE 1-Bank of England suspends official amid FX probe

Wed Mar 5, 2014 6:52am EST

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LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - The Bank of England suspended a staff member on Wednesday amid an investigation of what Bank officials knew about alleged manipulation of key currency rates by foreign exchange traders.

The BoE said in a statement that an internal review so far had found no evidence that BoE staff colluded in any such manipulation or shared confidential client information.

"However, the Bank requires its staff to follow rigorous internal control processes and has today suspended a member of staff, pending investigation by the Bank into compliance with those processes," it said.

"The Bank has today re-iterated its guidance to staff regarding management of records and escalation of important information," the statement said.

The Bank's oversight body will lead an investigation into whether BoE officials were involved in manipulation of benchmark foreign exchange fixings or were aware of the potential for such manipulation, and whether they were involved in or aware of sharing confidential client information, the statement said.

"We are unable to comment on the identity of the individual concerned or on the reasons for the suspension," a BoE spokesperson told Reuters.

The BoE, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority and the U.S. Federal Reserve and Department of Justice are among regulators looking into possible wrongdoing in the $5.3 trillion-a-day FX market. More than 20 foreign exchange traders have been placed on leave, suspended or fired by banks in recent months.

Benchmark currency fixings are used to price trillions of dollars worth of investments and deals and relied upon by companies, investors and central banks.

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