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Six global banks probed for forex rigging in South Korea

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating the alleged involvement of six global banks in foreign-exchange market rigging.

The FTC will be probing the effect of rigging on Korean firms by banks including Barclays, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and UBS Group, especially the manipulation of the price of U.S. dollars and euros, and of derivatives markets.

Recently, the six banks were charged with a record fine of more than £6.3bn. All the banks excluding UBS had pled guilty to the charges. This new fine was in addition to the penalties worth £2.6bn that had been announced in November for the manipulation of the £3.5trn a day currency markets.

The Guardian had then quoted the US attorney general Loretta Lynch as saying: "The penalty these banks will now pay is fitting considering the long-running and egregious nature of their anticompetitive conduct. It is commensurate with the pervasive harm done. And it should deter competitors in the future from chasing profits without regard to fairness, to the law, or to the public welfare."

Last year, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority had said that it had failed to find evidence of collusion among banks or any rigging of benchmark exchange-rate fixings, reported Bloomberg.

However, the Korean regulator is determined to carry out a probe to ensure there is no effect on the country’s firms.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is also looking into any allegations of "inappropriate behavior."