S Korea reviewing whether global banks in FX probe affected Korea

SEOUL- South Korea's anti-trust agency chief said on Wednesday the agency is looking into whether the activities of six global banks that were recently fined nearly US$6 billion (S$8 billion) in a US and European forex probe had affected South Korean companies.

Fair Trade Commission Chairman Jeong Jae-chan told a parliamentary hearing that the fact that the banks were penalised in the United States doesn't mean there has been a chargeable offence under South Korean law, and the FTC will review what kind of effect the banks' actions had domestically.

Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays Plc, UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc were accused by U.S. and UK officials of cheating clients to boost their own profits using invitation-only chat rooms and coded language to coordinate their trades.

All but UBS pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of US dollars and euros exchanged in the FX spot market. UBS pleaded guilty to a different charge. Bank of America Corp was fined but avoided a guilty plea over the actions of its traders in chatrooms.

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