LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - Bank of England (BoE) governor Mark Carney faces a grilling from UK lawmakers on Tuesday about what Bank officials knew about allegations that currency traders colluded to manipulate key exchange rates.
The unfolding scandal has so far seen more than 20 traders placed on leave, suspended or fired by some of the world’s biggest banks.
Below is a timeline on the scandal that has engulfed the largely unregulated $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, the world’s biggest financial market and which is now subject to a global investigation.
July 2006: Minutes of a meeting of the BoE’s FX Joint Standing Committee’s chief dealers sub-group say the group, chaired by BoE chief dealer Martin Mallett, discussed “evidence of attempts to move the market around popular fixing times by players that had no particular interest in that fix. It was noted that ‘fixing business’ generally was becoming increasingly fraught due to this behaviour.”
Spring 2008: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York makes enquiries into concerns surrounding benchmark Libor interest rates, sharing its analysis and suggestions for reforms with “the relevant authorities in the UK.”
May 2008: Minutes of a meeting of the BoE’s FX Joint Standing Committee’s chief dealers sub-group say there was “considerable discussion” on the benchmark “fixings” again.
July 2008: A meeting of the BoE’s FX Joint Standing Committee’s chief dealers sub-group discusses the suggestion “that using a snapshot of the market may be problematic, as it could be subject to manipulation,” BoE minutes say.
April 2012: As the Libor scandal reaches its zenith, the regular chief FX dealers’ meeting included a “brief discussion on extra levels of compliance that many bank trading desks were subject to when managing client risks around the main set piece benchmark fixings,” BoE minutes say.
June 2013: Bloomberg News reports dealers used electronic chatrooms to share client order information to manipulate benchmark exchange rates at the 4:00 p.m. London “fixing”.
July 2013: A scheduled chief dealers’ meeting for 4 July never takes place.
Sept. 2013: Swiss bank UBS provides the U.S. Department of Justice with information on FX allegations in the hope of gaining antitrust immunity if charged with wrongdoing.
Oct 2013: The investigation goes global. The DOJ, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England, and Switzerland’s market regulator all open probes. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority says it is cooperating.
Dec 2013: Several banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank ban traders from multi-dealer electronic chatrooms.
Jan 2014: U.S. regulators visit Citi’s main offices in London. Citi fires chief dealer Rohan Ramchandani, a member of the BoE-chaired chief dealers’ sub-group and the first trader in the unfolding scandal to be sacked.
Feb 4, 2014: Martin Wheatley, chief executive the FCA, Britain’s market regulator, says the FX allegations are “every bit as bad” as those in Libor. He also says the FCA’s investigation will probably run into next year.
Feb 5, 2014: New York’s banking regulator opens its investigation.
Feb 14, 2014: The Financial Stability Board, the world’s top financial regulator which coordinates policy for the G20, says it will review FX fixings.
March 5, 2014: The Bank of England suspends an employee as part of its internal investigation.