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RBA backs new FX code of conduct

A new code of conduct for foreign exchange traders developed together with central bankers will help an industry “suffering from a lack of trust”, says the RBA.


RBA deputy governor Guy Debelle delivered a speech backing the FX Global Code of Conduct in Sydney on Thursday evening.

In the speech, Mr Debelle pointed to a "lack of trust" that is "evident both between participants in the market and, at least as importantly, between the public and the market".

There have been a series of regulatory actions against foreign exchange traders and banks in recent years – most notably at Barclays, which pleaded guilty to FX rate rigging in May 2015 paying US$2.4 billion in fines.

Barclay's former head of foreign exchange spot-trading Christopher Ashton was fined US$1.2 million by the US Federal Reserve last month.

Mr Debelle said the new code of conduct sets out global principles of good practice in the FX market that will "help to restore confidence and promote the effective functioning of the wholesale FX market".

"One of the guiding principles that has underpinned our work in developing the code is that the code should promote a robust, fair, liquid, open and transparent market," he said.

The work to to develop the code began in May 2015, Mr Debelle said.

"The global code is the culmination of two years of work by a group of people from both the private and public sectors.

"The work reflected a very constructive and cooperative effort between the central banks and market participants. We all undertook this work in addition to our regular responsibilities, at all hours of the day and night.

"This contribution of time and effort reflected the fact that all of us recognise the need to restore the public's faith in the foreign exchange market."

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