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UK: Financial groups face antitrust investigation

 |  August 2, 2015

A “significant number” of financial companies are facing an antitrust investigation by the UK’s markets watchdog, in its first test of broad new powers reported the Financial Times.

Banks are failing to meet new standards for compiling market benchmarks despite the record fines imposed over the Libor and foreign exchange scandals, a review by Britain’s financial watchdog said last week.

Lenders have been fined billions of dollars by regulators for attempting to rig the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, an interest rate benchmark used to price an estimated US$450 trillion of financial contracts worldwide.

The scandal triggered a regulatory overhaul of how benchmarks are compiled, but the review by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that banks and brokers were not applying the new standards in full.

Many of the lenders punished for rigging Libor were later fined for trying to rig currency market benchmarks.

The FCA’s review looked at all benchmarks apart from Libor and foreign exchange, which had already been closely scrutinised.

Full content: The Financial Times

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