Hong Kong’s de facto central bank says it is investigating numerous banks for alleged foreign exchange market manipulation, the latest in a series of international probes.
Global regulators are investigating a number of firms linked to the suspected rigging of the foreign exchange market, where trading in the market is valued at $US5.3 trillion ($A5.73 trillion) a day by the Bank for International Settlements.
“The HKMA is investigating a number of banks in Hong Kong by requiring them to conduct independent reviews of their FX operations and submit the results to the HKMA,” a Hong Kong Monetary Authority spokeswoman told AFP on Tuesday.
The authority is also working with “overseas bank supervisors on the matter” and reviews are “in progress”, she said, declining to give further detail.
Authorities in the US, Britain and Switzerland have also opened probes into whether banks manipulated foreign exchange.
Switzerland said on Monday it was investigating a range of banks, including domestic leaders UBS and Credit Suisse along with top global houses, over suspicions they manipulated currency markets.
New York state’s financial regulator demanded documents from more than 12 banks in February, in its probe into possible foreign exchange market manipulation.
Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services, ordered documents from Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Charter, among others.
The alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets is “as serious as” the Libor rate rigging scandal that rocked the financial sector, Bank of England governor Mark Carney said last month.