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EU: How Facebook could prove crucial to forex-rigging probe

 |  October 27, 2014

The European Commission is reportedly seeking electronic documents from Facebook in its investigation into traders’ alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange benchmark.

Two unnamed sources say the Commission is seeking Facebook messages between traders, as well as all other communication via social media. Those sources say EU authorities suspect some electronic messages may have been erased as traders rush to delete evidence of any collusion.

Reports say electronic messages, including emails, have proven crucial to authorities around the globe as they crack down on multibillion-dollar benchmark rigging schemes performed by the world’s largest financial institutions.

In one case, one trader is said to have offered “whatever you want” to another trader to suppress the yen LIBOR rate “as low as possible.” UK and US authorities obtained the quotes from electronic messages as part of their investigations in 2012.

While the sources did not specify which companies would be forced to hand over Facebook messaging records, HSBC, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, UBS, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are all reportedly involved in the investigation.

Full content: Businessweek

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