With the Twitter IPO and the U.S. government shutdown, one of today’s most important stories has been overlooked: the Wall Street Journal’s report on alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange markets.
The report follows news that both Swiss and UK regulators are investigating banks’ alleged efforts to rig currencies. These efforts centre around currency benchmarks which help buyers and sellers get a fix prices at certain points of the day in order to facilitate trading. The most popular is the so-called ‘4pm London fix’ and the fear is that traders have manipulated it for personal gain, in much the same way as they manipulated the LIBOR rate.
As if by magic, it looks like UBS might have something to do with the emerging scandal. The site InsideParadePlatz reported this morning that the Swiss bank has dismissed two senior traders: Roger Boehler and Niall O’Riordan in relation to the affair. UBS declined to comment.
Who are Boehler and Riordan? This is what we know.
Roger Boehler is/was the global head of FX trading at UBS’s investment bank, based in Stamford, Connecticut. Boehler seems to have spent his entire career with UBS, having joined in 1994 from the Graduate School of Business Administration in Zurich.
An Irishman O’Riordan is/was the co-global head of FX G-10 and emerging market spot trading at UBS, based in Zurich. Like Boehler, he’d worked at the bank for nearly two decades. In December 2012, O’Riordan was named as a member of the Bank of England’s London Foreign Exchange Joint Standing Committee chief dealers’ subgroup, founded to discuss key market issues. The FCA Register shows O’Riordan as still registered as working for UBS, in London.