(Recasts with foreign exchange requests)
LONDON, July 10 Britain's financial regulator
said on Thursday it expected to receive a rising tide of
requests for help from its overseas peers as part of
"unprecedented" global cooperation in an investigation into the
vast foreign exchange market.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which publicly
announced an investigation into allegations of misconduct in the
$5.3 trillion-a-day currency markets last October, said it had
received 52 requests for assistance on forex inquiries this
"We anticipate that trend increasing this year as our
investigation progresses," it stated in its Enforcement Annual
Performance Account, designed to examine how fair and effective
the regulator is, published alongside its annual report.
"The lessons learned, and relationships built, during the
Libor investigations have helped to ensure the process is as
efficient and effective as possible."
A global investigation into allegations that traders rigged
benchmark interest rates such as Libor (London interbank offered
rate) has prompted regulators to fine 10 banks and brokerages
around $6.0 billion and prosecutors to charge 17 men.
As market misconduct increasingly crosses borders, the FCA
said the total number of assistance requests received this year
- which can include interview requests as well as more routine
information gathering - totalled 1,022.
The FCA also said the amount of suspicious share trading
activity that takes place in the run-up to mergers and
acquisition announcements in Britain rose slightly over the
year, ending three years of falling figures.
Abnormal pre-announcement price movements were recorded
before 15.1 percent of such announcements in the last financial
year, up from 14.9 percent in the prior period.
However, the FCA, which has been keen prove its mettle in
cracking down on market abuse since its launch in 2013, stressed
in its annual report that this was still well down on the nearly
30 percent level seen back in 2010.
Unexplained share price moves can be a possible sign of
insider trading or other forms of market abuse.
(Reporting by Kirstin Ridley and Huw Jones; Editing by David
Holmes and Mark Potter)