Fraud Probe Into Foreign Exchange Market
The Serious Fraud Office has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraud in the foreign exchange market.
Britain's financial watchdog Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in October joined other regulators around the world in investigating whether traders at some of the world's biggest banks rigged the £3trn-a-day market in Britain.
Some 40% of world's foreign exchange trading is done in London.
The SFO has refused to confirm which City institutions may be under investigation, but has told Sky News a range of individuals and banks will be subject to the inquiry.
Earlier this year, Martin Wheatley, the FCA head, said the allegations were "every bit as bad as they have been with Libor".
Only last week, the boss of Royal Bank of Scotland said an investigation into alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets could pose a bigger problem for the industry than the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal.
RBS paid out £358m last year to settle claims it manipulated Libor rates.
It was one of several banks hit with large fines for rigging financial benchmarks.
Asked if the foreign exchange probe could be a bigger problem than Libor, RBS chief Ross McEwan said: "Unfortunately, it has then hallmarks."
He added: "We're still doing a lot of investigation.
"We're going through just millions and millions of emails, chatrooms, conversations to see what actually went wrong.
"Unfortunately, I have the feeling that this is a sort of Libor case again.
"The difference this time is that we haven't sat back and denied it. We've gone into it and are doing the investigation hand-in-hand with the authorities."
He said it was another problem from the past that banks had to deal with in order to move on.