Tue, Jan 29, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Probes find manipulation in Singapore’s FX market

UNFAMILIAR WITH THE RULES:A source said that many of the traders involved in the manipulation of rates were junior and did not seem to think their actions were illegal

Reuters, SINGAPORE

Last month, the MAS issued a statement setting out the banks’ obligations under the reviews, although it has not made clear whether it would take action of its own based on the results.

“The banks have to immediately report any irregularities they uncover to MAS, and have to take appropriate disciplinary action against staff involved in such irregularities,” the statement said. “The reviews are ongoing, and it is premature to speculate on the outcome of these reviews at this stage.”

Singapore’s central bank provided no further comment when asked about the probes’ findings.

The source said most banks had submitted their reviews to the authorities at the end of last year, but did not say what disciplinary actions if any were planned for banks or traders who tried to manipulate rates.

The MAS said last year that it was working with the ABS to review the way NDF rates and the city state’s benchmark lending rates are set.

The association declined to comment for this story.

Many of the traders involved were junior and did not appear to think they were doing anything wrong, the source said.

Of the 40 to 50 NDF traders based in Singapore, roughly half had either been put on leave, including those suspended while their activities in the market were under investigation, or left their jobs during the Singapore probes, the source said.

It was not clear how many may have been or will be reinstated after the probes’ completion.

“A lot of banks are stuck, traders are suspended or have left, so the market is seeing around half its usual volume,” the source said.

Flows in Indonesian rupiah and Malaysian ringgit NDFs have been thin since the last quarter of last year, according to Thomson Reuters IFR Markets, although volumes in ringgit NDFs picked up at the start of this year.

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