The Bank of England has come under intense scrutiny amid reports that watchdogs have been handed an online chatroom transcript alleging that it knew senior officials colluded ahead of foreign exchange fixes.
In the transcript, an unnamed senior dealer claims to fellow traders that Bank officials had agreed there were advantages to traders sharing client order information around the time that daily reference exchange rates are set, known as fixing.
The online conversation followed a now infamous April 2012 meeting between Bank officials and senior traders. The transcript is one of thousands in the hands of the Financial Conduct Authority, which launched a formal enforcement investigation in October.
The head of the FCA, Martin Wheatley, told Bloomberg TV that investment banks should have been aware of what was going on: “It’s incredible a bank should not know [of] traders having unmonitored access to private chat-rooms to talk to a bunch of mates that they’ve had relationships with or worked with over the years.”
The FCA declined to comment on the transcript.
A Bank spokesman said it would be “inappropriate” to comment while its oversight committee conducts its own inquiry into whether any Bank officials were aware of sharing of client information between participants in the market.