UK to Criminalize Manipulation of Seven Benchmark Rates Before Election

The UK is criminalizing the manipulation of seven more benchmarks, from gold to foreign exchange rates.
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The UK is criminalizing the manipulation of seven more benchmarks, from gold to foreign exchange rates. The British government seeks to implement the new law before the country's next general election in the spring. The new law will include the following: Sterling Overnight Index Average and Repurchase Overnight Index Average -- they serve as reference rates to overnight index swaps; WM/Reuters 4 p.m. London currency fix, which determines what people would pay for foreign exchange; ISDAFix, a benchmark widely used for swaps; London gold fixing and LBMA Silver Price -- both vital to trades of the precious metals; and the ICE Brent futures contract, a benchmark for oil futures. The UK government's reputation was largely tainted by the LIBOR scandal. More than 10 firms were fined a combined $6.5 billion for rigging the key rate that's used in more than $300 trillion in contracts for mortgages and student loans. The regulators in the U.K. are investigating whether manipulation of currencies has occurred as well.