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Swiss ban for six former UBS traders over market rigging

Swiss financial regulator, Finma, said Thursday it had issued temporary bans ranging from one to five years on two former managers and four forex and precious metals traders with UBS bank over suspected market rigging.

“Finma has determined that the individuals concerned were directly responsible for serious regulation breaches,” the body said in a statement following an investigation undertaken last year. It added management had failed to implement appropriate safeguards and monitor wrongdoing.

The regulator said it had identified serious organisational deficiencies and illicit behaviour not in the interest of clients at the bank which management had “tolerated, and at times encouraged”.

In November of last year Finma launched procedures against 11 staff at Switzerland’s top bank to determine to what degree UBS was aware of deliberate manipulation on the forex and precious metals markets and what the bank was doing to curtail such practices.

Four other individuals received reprimands in a case which shook the financial world, while one case remains open, the Swiss regulator said.

Finma added that none of those investigated was still working at UBS.

Contacted by AFP, the Swiss bank declined to comment on the decision.

Regulators in several countries had accused the traders of using Internet discussion forums and instant messaging to manipulate the market.

Earlier this year, the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) said it was probing whether seven banks had colluded to manipulate prices in the precious metals market.

UBS was among several banks which was heavily fined by US regulators looking into foreign-exchange manipulation and lost judicial immunity from the US Justice Department obtained in 2012 regarding manipulation of the London interbank rate Libor.