Banks Aid in U.S. FX Probe

Because of agreements reached in a Justice Department Libor investigation, banks are turning over information useful to the government's currency-manipulation probe.

Banks bound by cooperation agreements in an interest-rate rigging probe are providing a windfall of information to U.S. prosecutors investigating possible currency manipulation, according to a Justice Department official and a person familiar with the matter.

“The cooperation that we have been able to secure as part of our agreements in the Libor investigation has been very helpful to us in terms of holding banks’ feet to the fire,” Mythili Raman, the acting head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in an interview today. Raman, who declined to name the banks or comment further on the probe, said banks are “providing us with information about any new or ongoing conduct—even old conduct—that might be coming to light now.”

Financial Benchmarks

Authorities around the world are investigating alleged abuse of financial benchmarks by companies that play a central role in setting them. Other rates under investigation include the ISDAfix, used to determine the value of interest-rate derivatives. European and U.S. regulators also are reviewing allegations of collusion in crude oil and biofuels markets in scrutinizing how the Platts oil benchmark is set.

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