LONDON Jan 20 Representatives from Germany's
financial watchdog Bafin will visit the London offices of
Deutsche Bank, the country's biggest lender, as it
steps up investigations into alleged currency market
manipulation, a source familiar with the process said on Monday.
This follows Deutsche's suspension last week of traders in
New York and mirrors the arrival of U.S. regulators in London
last week at Citigroup's London headquarters, marking an
escalation in the global probe.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that Bafin
was setting up a so-called special investigation, putting the
case at the top of its priority list.
Bafin was not available for immediate comment.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment, and referred Reuters to a
previous statement that it is cooperating with those
investigations, and will take disciplinary action with regards
to individuals if merited.
The source could not say when the visit would take place,
but said investigators are not on the bank's London trading
floor tapping on people's shoulders just yet.
The source also could not confirm if Bafin officials also
plan to visit Deutsche's U.S. headquarters in New York.
Benchmark foreign exchange rates, or daily fixings, are a
cornerstone of global financial markets, used to price trillions
of dollars worth of investments and deals and relied upon by
companies, investors and central banks.
London is the hub of the $5.3 trillion-a-day global foreign
exchange trading market, accounting for around 40 percent of
Authorities around the world are investigating whether
senior traders at some of the world's biggest banks colluded to
rig these rates.
Deutsche Bank has been the biggest foreign exchange trader
in the world for nine years running, seeing 15.18 percent of
global daily turnover in 2013, according to Euromoney magazine.
The bank's shares fell sharply on Monday following a
surprise fourth-quarter loss due to a steep drop in debt trading
revenues and heavy litigation and restructuring costs.