Swiss UBS faces fine over alleged precious metals trading wrongdoing

Swiss UBS faces fine over alleged precious metals trading wrongdoing

Swiss bank giant UBS (NYSE:UBS), the world’s largest private lender, is about to reach a settlement in the year-long global probe into allegations of misconduct at its precious metals trading business, as well as supposed collusion and manipulation in the foreign exchange market.

The bank, FT.com reports, is just one of the six financial institutions expected to announce an agreement of at least $2.37 billion (£1.5bn) in fines on Wednesday to settle accusations of foreign exchange market rigging with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The other five banks working on the settlement are U.S. banks JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C); Britain's HSBC (LON:HSBA) and Barclays (LON:HSBA), and Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS).

Several U.S. authorities are also expected to be part of the settlement, with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission could announce a settlement with a group of banks some time this week.

No guilty parties … yet

So far close to 35 traders have been suspended or fired by their banks. No individual or institution has so far been accused of any wrongdoing.

Regulators across the globe are investigating up to 15 different banks over their roles in the scandal.

Earlier this year FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said that the currency rigging scandal was “every bit as bad” as the manipulation of Libor, the key global interest rate used to price loans, mortgages and set returns on investment products.

UBS has previously disclosed that it launched an internal probe of its precious metals business in addition to its forex investigation.

This is not the first time this year a bank receives a fine for its manipulation of precious metal prices. In May, the U.K. authority fined Barclays $44 million in May after an options trader was found to have manipulated the London gold fix.