| NEW YORK/LONDON
NEW YORK/LONDON Feb 5 New York banking
regulator Benjamin Lawsky is seeking documents from some of the
biggest banks in foreign exchange trading, including Deutsche
Bank, Goldman Sachs and Barclays, a
source familiar with the matter said Wednesday, as a global
probe into possible market manipulation widens.
At least seven other law enforcement offices and regulators
internationally are investigating whether banks rigged the $5.3
trillion-a-day currency markets. Martin Wheatley, chief
executive officer of Britain's Financial Conduct Authority, said
on Tuesday that his watchdog group's probe could extend into
2015, and that the allegations it is looking into are "every bit
as bad" as the Libor manipulation scandal.
More than 20 traders across Wall Street have either been put
on leave, suspended or fired since the foreign exchange
investigations were formally announced in October. Deutsche
Bank, the biggest foreign exchange trader in the world, fired
three New York-based currency traders, a source said on Tuesday.
The probes are looking into whether senior traders at a
handful of big banks colluded via online chat room and messaging
services to manipulate benchmark foreign exchange rates, or
These 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.
The probes are probably contributing to a decline in foreign
exchange trading volumes in recent months. On the Thomson
Reuters dealing platform, daily spot foreign exchange trading
volumes fell 11.5 percent in December to $92 billion, the lowest
level since the company started tracking the data almost four
years ago. Some of that decline may be due to dealers' handling
more of their trading in-house.
The top five banks in foreign exchange trading account for
about 50 percent of total volume, and the top 10, which also
include Goldman, Credit Suisse, RBS and Barclays,
account for almost 80 percent.