(Corrects paragraph two to show Deutsche Bank has implemented a
policy requiring pre-approval for personal forex trades)
Feb 18 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
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
The state-backed bank has already cut some of its foreign
exchange fixing services following an internal
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,
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
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)