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Siobhain Egan Quoted by Global Investigations Review on Forthcoming SFO Investigation into FX

stock-marketSiobhain has been quoted by the news service Global Investigations Review regarding the criminal Forex investigation launched by the SFO on Monday. She comments:

“The SFO opening a criminal investigation now reduces the possibility of individuals in the UK being extradited to the US. If the US wanted to extradite someone from the UK in the Forex case, the SFO could now intervene. This is because the SFO will get precedence over the DoJ for individuals in the UK, assuming the SFO wants to bring a case.

“Any offer of immunity from the US authorities will not be recognised by UK authorities. The SFO has its own immunity procedure known as SOCPA, which doesn’t guarantee immunity but offers some form of protection to individuals who provide evidence. It would be inadvisable for anyone in the UK to enter into an immunity agreement with the DoJ unless extradition proceedings had already been launched.”

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SFO Launch Probe into Foreign Exchange Markets

SFOThe Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the United Kingdom has launched an official investigation to determine whether foreign exchange markets have been subject to manipulation. The UK SFO are joining an increasing number of authorities investigating the issue. Authorities in the U.S., Asia and Europe have also opened similar investigations.

The criminal investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the market, opened by David Green, Director of the SFO, is the latest investigation indicating how serious the world-wide probe into the foreign exchange market may be.

The Foreign Exchange Market - said to be worth $5.3 trillion a day - has been investigated by the UK’s financial market regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) since April 2013.

The initial issue behind the investigations was possible efforts by traders to manipulate a key market benchmark to their unfair advantage. However, the investigations have now escalated to include an examination of all areas of currencies trading.

The Chief Executive of the FCA, Martin Wheatley, confirmed last week that the agency is exchanging documents with the SFO regarding the investigation. The FCA has also commented that the probe has created "unprecedented global cooperation" between worldwide financial regulators.

More than 30 staff in various locations have lost their jobs in top currency dealing banks since the beginning of the investigation.

Regulators and bankers have said the probe could be as big as the investigation into attempts to rig a key interest-rate benchmark, the London interbank offered rate, or Libor.

Ten of the firms involved in the Libor scandal have settled the allegations against them or have been fined by authorities. More than a dozen individuals in the UK and the US have criminal charges against them.

The outcome of these investigations are unlikely to be made public before 2015.

We have specialist solicitors who have extensive experience in financial compliance, regulatory enforcement, criminal prosecutions and business (internal) investigations, who are ranked in the Legal 500, Chambers UK and Superlawyers UK.

Contact Lewis Nedas Specialist Solicitors

If you are affected by any of the issues above, please contact our experienced solicitors by calling 0207 387 2032 or completing our online enquiry form.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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Foreign Exchange Market Faces Tougher Regulation

forexLondon's foreign exchange market faces Government regulation, according to widespread media reports first made public by the BBC.

Foreign exchange, also referred to as ‘forex’ or ‘FX’, is the world’s most traded market with an estimated 3 trillion pounds sterling changing hands each day. It involves the exchange of one currency for another at an agreed exchange price.

Currently, forex is largely unregulated and left to traders who execute deals on behalf of global companies, but Britain's Finance Ministry, believed to be working with the international Financial Stability Board (FSB), look set to announce new measures designed to put an end to the currency rate-fixing scandal and clean up market practices.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, may unveil his regulation plans within two weeks as he is set to deliver his annual Mansion House speech to London's financial community on 12 June. Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, who like Mr Osborne has made his desire to clean up Britain's banking sector known, will also appear at the event.

One method of regulation suggested is to subject the forex market to the same statutory regime that was imposed on the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) last year. This would make manipulating the foreign exchange market a criminal offence.

The Financial Stability Board, chaired by Mr Carney, is also expected to produce a report making recommendations of how to improve currency fixings.

Whilst the Treasury refused to comment on the media reports, a Treasury spokesperson stated:

“A key part of the government’s long term plan is building stronger and safer banks that can do more to support Britain’s consumers and businesses... 

“Ensuring confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of financial markets is central to this, which is why we’ve taken action to reform Libor, and why we’re now using the lessons we learned here to inform and shape the global debate on benchmark reform.”

It is perhaps unlikely that the forex market will escape media reports anytime soon, with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, the US Department of Justice as well as Asian authorities thought to be undertaking their own investigations into FX rate rigging allegations.  

Call Lewis Nedas Criminal Solicitors in London

For advice in relation to foreign exchange manipulation or any other financial crime, please contact our specialist criminal lawyers by completing our online enquiry form.

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Forex Investigation Finds Evidence of Misconduct

investigation into foreign exchange manipulationThe ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct in the foreign exchange market has taken a new turn as Germany’s financial regulator, BaFin, recently announced that it has found firm evidence of attempts to manipulate currency rates, reports the Guardian. Whether these attempts were successful is not yet known. 

A spokesperson for BaFin described the findings as “worrying” and said that the investigation was much larger than the ongoing high profile probe into interest rate fixing. The currencies involved are not thought to include any of the main global currencies, such as the euro or dollar.

Investigations are also ongoing in the UK into possible misconduct regarding the forex market. However, according to the Guardian, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority stated as recently as April that it still had to determine whether any wrongdoing has actually taken place.

The foreign exchange market investigation is a global concern, involving the authorities of many different countries, and the number of employees suspended, placed on leave, or dismissed as a result of these investigations has now reached over 30.

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Specialist Lawyers in London

For specialist legal advice please contact our solicitors on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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