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Homeeurope newsBig banks put forex bonuses on hold

Big banks put forex bonuses on hold

Barclays, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland have frozen bonuses across swaths of their foreign exchange trading teams pending internal investigations into possible manipulation of key currency benchmarks.

The cash and share bonus suspensions are targeted on the wider team rather than just the traders under investigation, people close to the situation said.

(Read more: Forex manipulation: How itworked)

Matthew Lloyd | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The bonuses – which can reach as much as $2m for top forex traders – will be withheld until reviews into potential wrongdoing in the banks' currencies trading units are concluded.

Those internal probes into allegations of collusion and price rigging have so far prompted the suspension, placing on leave or firing of 25 staff across 11 banks and the Bank of England.

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However, legal experts report that many more traders could be under review beyond the two dozen whose fates are public, as banks seek to avoid outright suspensions by limiting the duties of certain forex staff.

The bonus freeze has affected traders in London, New York and elsewhere and stretches beyond spot trading desks – the hotspot of investigative activity so far – to derivative trading units.

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