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Swiss probe launched into banks

An investigation into whether eight banks colluded to fix a foreign exchange rate has been launched by Switzerland's competition watchdog.

The Swiss Competition Commission said it is examining the two largest Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, along with Zurich Cantonal Bank, Julius Baer and foreign banks JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

The regulator said in a statement that there are "indications" that the banks have co-operated to manipulate exchange rates on trading between banks by sharing confidential information, price-setting and co-ordinating actions.

It said trading in major world currencies appears to be affected, and more banks and brokers also may be involved.

Credit Suisse said it was "astonished" by the allegations, which are "inappropriate and harmful to our reputation".

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