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Will criminal charges follow FX probe?

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 01:42

The $4.3 billion in civil settlements struck between six global banks and U.S. and UK authorities over foreign exchange market manipulation was just the beginning. As Sonia Legg reports, the stage is set for negotiations over related ongoing probes that could bear much more severe consequences

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It wasn't necessarily an admission of guilt. But the massive fines imposed on six global banks for foreign exchange market manipulation are unlikely to be the end of the sorry saga. Lawyers are now rubbing their hands at the prospect of criminal charges and civil suits, says CMC Market's Michael Hewson. (SOUNDBITE) (English): MICHAEL HEWSON, MARKET ANALYST, CMC MARKETS, SAYING: "I certainly think that is a worry and early reports have indicated that counterparties that have been materially damaged by this price fixing scandal could have a case." The $4.3bln deal between six global banks and U.S. and UK authorities didn't resolve a criminal probe by the US Justice Department. An investigation by New York's powerful banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky is still ongoing too. And he has a reputation for extracting record monetary settlements from global banks. They will both need evidence of course - and that might not be easy, says Admiral Markets' Darren Sinden. (SOUNDBITE) (English): DARREN SINDEN, MARKET COMMENTATOR, ADMIRAL MARKETS UK, SAYING: "I wonder how difficult it will be in open court to prove that you were actually disenfranchised and actually lost money as a result of the activities of the bank. You may feel that you did but how easy would it be to define a specific example and show that you were out of pocket? That may put some people off pursuing a court action" Few doubt there's now a will to move on and adopt a new banking culture. But those stung by this latest scandal may find it hard to put the past behind them. Around 30 people have already been sacked or suspended in connection with the probe. Prosecutors may eventually bring charges against some traders and supervisors But reaching senior executives at any of the banks is thought unlikely.

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Will criminal charges follow FX probe?

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 01:42