Australian Regulators Publish Currency Rules Amid Probes

Australia’s regulators published conventions for the currency market, underscoring a push to shore up standards in the $5.3 trillion-a-day industry.

The Australian Foreign Exchange Committee and the Australian Financial Markets Association released the document, dated today, on their websites. It defines currency and options products and provides guidelines for dealing methods and pricing. The release follows an April 11 meeting of global foreign-exchange committees in Sydney, chaired by Reserve Bank of Australia Assistant Governor Guy Debelle, at which participants discussed codes of conduct.

“People won’t deal with you if you’re not dealing to market standards, and that’s the real power of these conventions,” said Sean Keane, an Auckland-based analyst at Triple T Consulting and the former head of Asia-Pacific rates trading at Credit Suisse Group AG. “It makes sure that everybody’s in agreement as to what the standard is.”

Regulators globally are investigating allegations that foreign-exchange traders colluded to rig benchmark rates, with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission saying in March it would conduct inquiries into the nation’s foreign exchange market. Bloomberg News reported last month that U.S. prosecutors have broadened their probe into currency dealing by targeting the mark-ups the world’s biggest banks may impose on some customers. No companies or traders have been accused of wrongdoing by government authorities.

Benchmark WM/Reuters rates are collected and distributed by Thomson Reuters and World Markets Co., a unit of Boston-based State Street Corp. Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, competes with Thomson Reuters in providing news and information as well as currency-trading systems.

Thomson Reuters Corp. said yesterday it is revising the trading rules for its foreign-exchange platform after consulting with market participants.

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