British prosecutors are preparing to open a criminal investigation into alleged manipulation of foreign-exchange benchmarks, Bloomberg reported Monday.
The Serious Fraud Office could announce the investigation as soon as this week.
Authorities around the world have been investigating whether traders rigged the US$5.3 trillion a day currency market after the UK Financial Conduct Authority said it was looking into the matter in June 2013.
Regulators and prosecutors are scrutinizing allegations that dealers at the world’s biggest banks traded ahead of their clients and colluded to rig the WM/Reuters rate, a benchmark that pension funds and money managers use to determine what they pay for foreign currencies, the report said.
No firms or individuals have been accused of wrongdoing.
UBS A.G., the fourth-biggest currency trader, has sought to reduce any potential punishment from United States and European Union authorities by cooperating with antitrust investigators and reporting on its own conduct in currency markets.
Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank A.G. and Barclays Plc., the other top currency dealers, have said they are cooperating with the foreign-exchange investigations.
More than 25 traders have been fired, suspended or put on leave after the manipulation allegations emerged last year.
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