LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - The Bank of England’s top management moved quickly as soon as it learned that staff might not have acted on signs of possible manipulation of foreign exchanges rates and the Bank is being relentless in its investigations, Governor Mark Carney said.
The BoE last week suspended an official amid an internal review into whether Bank staff failed to flag up signs that foreign exchange traders exchanged client orders to manipulate daily benchmark exchange rates, dating as far back as 2006.
Carney, facing questions from lawmakers about the case, said he and other top officials at the BoE first became aware of the allegations on Oct. 16 last year and he told the Bank’s governing board, its Court of Directors, on the same day.
“We convened governors, we decided to launch an investigation within 48 hours, we retained external council and they had begun a very thorough, systematic, relentless investigation,” he said.
Carney said the BoE would need to consider changing its policies and how to bring about a change of culture at the Bank.
Paul Fisher, another member of the Monetary Policy Committee who was previously BoE’s head of foreign exchange, said he only learned of the allegations of manipulation last year.
In his previous role, Fisher chaired the Foreign Exchange Joint Standing Committee, a forum for Bank officials and market players to discuss market issues.
It was at a sub-group of that committee that dealers raised concerns with BoE officials as early as July 2006 over attempts to move the market around the time of daily benchmark fixings.