October 9, 2013 / 12:37 PM / 5 years ago

Swiss say forex market manipulated, no details on banks concerned

Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf arrives for a news conference after the weekly meeting of the Federal Council in Bern October 9, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland said on Wednesday it was sure there had been manipulation of foreign exchange markets by some financial institutions without giving any further information on which banks might be affected.

The country’s financial markets regulator had already said last week it was conducting investigations into several Swiss institutions in connection with possible manipulation of foreign exchange markets.

“It’s a fact that foreign exchange manipulation was committed,” Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told a government news conference.

“It is unclear to what extent and which institutions are affected. I think it’s important that we wait until we have the results (of the investigation),” she said.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA said on Friday it was working with authorities in other countries and that multiple banks worldwide were potentially implicated. The Swiss competition commission WEKO has also opened its own preliminary investigation.

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in June it was examining allegations banks had manipulated foreign exchange benchmarks by trading ahead of their own customers’ orders, a practice known in the markets as “front running”.

Regulators and investors have grown increasingly concerned about the integrity of financial benchmarks in the wake of a global investigation into the rigging of benchmark interest rates.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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