RPT-Currency probe drives bank demand for Big Brother software

Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:58am EDT
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(Repeats story first published on April 16, text unchanged)

* "Traderspeak" incomprehensible to most people

* Firms developing software to detect dubious activity

* Programme can scan billions of communications

By Jamie McGeever

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - "What's your interest in Bill and Ben in the pick?"

While most people wouldn't understand the question, this is common vernacular for London currency traders active in the daily 4 o'clock "fixing" of global reference exchange rates.

A basic translation of that particular line of Cockney rhyming slang, originating in London's working class East End, would run something like: "Are you a buyer or a seller of dollar/yen at the daily benchmark rate-setting fix?"

The wisecracking, rhyme-based language that can make a "whistle" mean a suit (from "whistle and flute") or a "Barnet" mean hair (from "Barnet Fair") has been used by traders in the City of London for decades. But can a computer crack the code?   Continued...