Forex market needs to change ways, says financial watchdog

Ollie Gordon
FCA chief executive officer Martin Wheatley (Source: Getty)
The currency markets must change their trading practices, but good co-operation from the industry bodes well for “sensible” reforms, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said yesterday.

The UK’s financial watchdog last year fined a number of banks $1.7bn (£1.1bn) for attempting to manipulate foreign currency benchmarks.

After the fines in November, the FCA established an industry-wide “remediation” programme to make sure that a larger number of companies were combating the core foundations of the control failings that were unearthed in the enforcement action.

At a conference organised by banking lobby AFME, the regulator’s chief executive officer Martin Wheatley conceded that it was difficult to find local solutions to problems in a market as global as forex. But “nor is the status quo a viable option either,” he added.

Wheatley said industry co-operation in the remediation programme had involved talks with bank boards and had been overwhelmingly positive, establishing a realistic platform to achieve “agreed, sensible conclusions on how we move things forward”.

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