| LONDON, March 6
LONDON, March 6 The worldwide investigation into
allegations of manipulation in the global currency market took
another twist on Thursday, as Bank of America suspended
a senior trader in London, a source familiar with the matter
said on Thursday.
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, the investment banking arm of
the second largest U.S. lender, suspended Joseph Landes, head of
spot trading for Europe, Middle East and Africa, as the bank
carries out its investigations.
Landes couldn't be reached immediately and Bank of America
declined to comment.
It adds Bank of America's name to the growing list of big
banks including Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays
and UBS who have put on leave, suspended or
fired more than 20 traders since the middle of last year.
The Bank of England on Wednesday suspended an employee as
part of an internal probe into what Bank officials knew about
alleged manipulation of key currency rates by traders.
The BoE also released on Wednesday minutes of meetings
between its FX officials and chief dealers in London stretching
back over several years that showed concerns over possible
manipulation were raised as far back as 2006.
Regulators have said the alleged manipulation of the $5.3
trillion-a-day market - by far the world's largest financial
market - is as bad as the Libor interest rate rigging which has
resulted in banks shelling out $6 billion in fines and
settlements and criminal cases against some individuals.
"This is Libor revisited, this is going to run and run. And
remember, we're still dealing with Libor," said Mark Garnier,
Conservative member of parliament and member of the Treasury
Select Committee (TSC).
BoE Governor Mark Carney and other Bank officials will make
a scheduled appearance before the TSC on Tuesday and are bound
to face questions on the Bank's probe.
The global investigation into manipulation allegations
centre on the so-called "London fixing" that is set daily. It is
used to price trillions of dollars' worth of investments and
deals and is relied upon by companies, investors and central
Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the U.S.
Department of Justice are among several authorities around the
world looking into allegations that senior FX traders shared
market-sensitive information relevant for the London fix.
London is the hub of the global currency market, accounting
for some 40 percent of the $5.3 trillion traded on an average