The Serious Fraud Office has closed its criminal investigation into foreign exchange market fraud due to “insufficient evidence”.
Following a referral from the FCA, the SFO began investigating “fraudulent conduct” in the forex market in July 2014. The investigation was carried out over one and a half years and covered over half a million documents.
However, in a statement the SFO says: “Whilst there were reasonable grounds to suspect the commission of offences involving serious or complex fraud, a detailed review of the available evidence led us to the conclusion that the alleged conduct, even if proven and taken at its highest, would not meet the evidential test required to mount a prosecution for an offence contrary to English law.”
The SFO says it will continue to liaise with the US Department of Justice in relation to its ongoing investigation.
In November 2014, the FCA fined five banks – HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and Citi – a total of £1.1bn for failing to control business practices in their foreign exchange trading operations.