Understanding Forex manipulation

By Stephen Critchley and Robert Andrews

Following on the heels of the LIBOR manipulation scandal, the latest allegation levelled at the banks is that they conspired to manipulate foreign exchange rates. This has been covered in the news but, given the complexity of the allegations, rarely is it adequately explained.

We describe below in simple terms: what the alleged manipulation is; who may have suffered from it; and the ongoing investigations into it.

In what ways is it alleged the Forex market has been manipulated? The Forex market sees trades of more than $5tn (£3tn) per day. Around 80 per cent of this market is controlled by 10 large institutions. Four banks — Deutsche, Citi, Barclays and UBS — have a combined market share of around 50 per cent…

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