UBS suspends U.S.-based forex trader in manipulation probe

NEW YORK/LONDON Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:03am EDT

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen on an office building in Zurich July 22, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen on an office building in Zurich July 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - UBS AG (UBSN.VX) has suspended a spot trader on its New York foreign exchange desk, a source familiar with the investigation said on Friday amid an ongoing international probe of big forex dealers for potential collusion and market manipulation.

Michael Velardi, 52, who has worked for the bank for nearly 20 years, was suspended this week, the source said. When reached by phone, Velardi declined to comment.

A spokesman for UBS declined to comment.

The source said up to six UBS traders, including Velardi, have been suspended this week as the Swiss bank tries to stay ahead of the wide-ranging probe. <ID:L2N0LC1V6>

Authorities in the United States, Britain, Switzerland, Germany and Singapore are looking into allegations of collusion and manipulation of the $5.3 trillion a day global forex market. They are examining not only whether traders from different banks worked together to influence currency prices, but also whether they traded ahead of their own customers or failed to accurately represent to customers how they were determining the prices.

The suspension of up to six traders at UBS this week brings the total number of FX traders suspended, placed on leave or fired to around 30. Of that total, UBS accounts for seven.

(Reporting By Emily Flitter; Editing by Peter Galloway)