(Adds confirmation of interviews from source)
By Aruna Viswanatha
NEW YORK, April 27 Criminal prosecutors from the
U.S. Department of Justice have gone to London to interview
individuals in connection with an investigation into traders'
alleged rigging of foreign exchange rates, a person familiar
with the matter said.
The DOJ has conducted joint interviews of UK-based currency
traders with the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority in
London, the person said.
The London interviews highlight the extent to which U.S. and
UK authorities are cooperating in a sprawling investigation into
potential manipulation in the foreign exchange market, after
clashing in conducting probes into the rigging of the Libor
benchmark interest rate.
The FCA sought in 2012 to interview traders ahead of DOJ in
ways that had the potential to complicate U.S. criminal
While the FCA could compel people to answer its questions
and not remain silent, the U.S. Constitution allows individuals
to remain silent under oath in order to avoid
Any evidenced gathered under compelled conditions could be
difficult for U.S. authorities to use, former prosecutors have
The recent joint interviews on the forex probe suggest the
two authorities are now working in tandem.
After extracting billions in fines from global banks for
rigging Libor, the average rate at which a panel of banks
expects to borrow money, authorities have turned to other
benchmarks, including those that undergird the $5.3
trillion-a-day currency market, to investigate whether they are
open to similar kinds of skewing.
Banks including Barclays, UBS AG,, Royal
Bank of Scotland, and now Rabobank have paid
out billions in fines, and have agreed to turn over all
information that the Justice Department asks of them for at
least two years as part of their settlements, Mythili Raman, the
acting head of the department's criminal division, said in
October after the forex probe was announced.
In February Raman told Reuters the Justice Department had
worked hard to improve its relationships with UK authorities.
A spokesperson for the DOJ was unavailable for comment on
(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; additional reporting by Anna
Sussman; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)