4 Min Read
(Corrects paragraph two to show Deutsche Bank has implemented a policy requiring pre-approval for personal forex trades)
Feb 18 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Deutsche Bank are reviewing rules on currency dealers trading with their own money, sources said on Tuesday, as regulators investigate possible price fixing in foreign exchange markets.
Deutsche Bank, a major player in the $5.3 trillion a day market, now requires staff to seek approval for personal foreign exchange trades before conducting them, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The bank already asked employees to get approval for stock purchases from senior managers before doing deals.
RBS is assessing processes and procedures in its foreign exchange operations, including personal accounts, another source said.
The state-backed bank has already cut some of its foreign exchange fixing services following an internal review.
Swiss bank UBS was also looking at its policies on private trades, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the plans.
UBS launched an internal review of its forex business when irregularities in the currency markets first emerged last year, according to its fourth quarter earnings report.
UBS and RBS declined to comment.
Deutsche Bank said it has long-existing policies that forbid employees from using confidential client information to benefit their personal dealings. Those policies are constantly reviewed, it said.
Regulators are looking at whether traders at some of the world's biggest banks with advance knowledge of customer orders tried to manipulate benchmark foreign-exchange rates used to set the value of trillions of dollars of investments.
Since the investigations started last year, 20 traders have been fired, suspended or put on leave and banks are considering ways to clean up trading floors, including banning chat rooms.
No charges of any kind have yet been brought.
The Financial Times said in November that the UK's Financial Conduct Authority was investigating the use of private accounts by forex traders.
In Switzerland, regulator FINMA is trying to gauge whether forex traders had been manipulating the euro-Swiss franc and U.S. dollar-Swiss franc fixes through their personal accounts and for personal gain, according to currency traders.
Germany's financial watchdog Bafin is also investigating the use of the private accounts, a third source said.
FINMA declined to comment as the investigation is ongoing. Bafin had no comment.
Personal account or "PA" trades are usually declared to the bank by employees and are recorded via automatic emails.
Foreign exchange benchmarks are scheduled to be reviewed by the Financial Stability Board, which coordinates regulation for the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies.
Last year, banks including Barclays and UBS were fined $6 billion for rigging Libor benchmark interest rates. Some of the banks are cooperating with regulators in the forex probe.
Britain's fraud agency started criminal proceedings against three former bankers at Barclays on Monday for the alleged manipulation of Libor rates. (Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore and Jamie McGeever, Matt Scuffham and Clare Hutchison in London; Editing by Louise Ireland and David Evans)