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Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority isn’t planning individual fines of foreign-exchange traders as the regulator nears settlements with the banks they work for, said two people with knowledge of the discussions.
The watchdog is partly trying to avoid the probe’s dragging on for as long as the Libor-rigging investigation, in which individual traders are being fined, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is private.
Regulators and prosecutors on three continents are scrutinizing allegations that dealers at the world’s biggest banks traded ahead of their clients and colluded to rig benchmarks that pension funds and money managers use to determine what they pay for foreign currencies.
The FCA is in talks with Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG, with the aim of reaching settlements by November, Bloomberg News reported in July.
The regulator is seeking to keep the scope of the bank settlements narrow to achieve a quicker resolution, with penalties expected to focus on improper systems and controls, people with knowledge of the situation said then.
Lara Joseph, a spokeswoman for the FCA, declined to comment on the settlements.
Japan FSA Reconsiders Rules for Professional Investor Funds
Japan’s Financial Services Agency will reconsider tighter regulations on funds for professional investors following consultation from venture capitalists, an agency panel said in a statement.
The authority originally planned to limit professional- investor funds to individuals with more than 100 million yen ($915,000) of investment assets and to complete the rules by August, according to information the agency released in May.
Venture-capital managers said in an opinion paper provided to the FSA in June that the rule might hamper fundraising.
Separately, Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima wants to cut the effective corporate-tax rate for startups in the city to less than 17 percent during their first five years in business, to make the city the “Silicon Valley of Asia.”
The effective corporate tax rate in Fukuoka is now 35 percent.
Europe Central Banks Hold Onto Gold as Sale Quotas Go Unfilled
European central banks sold 6.8 metric tons of gold by Sept. 1 in the final 12 months of a five-year accord that ended Sept. 26, unloading just 1.7 percent of the metal allowed in their agreement to limit sales.
The total in the period compares with 5.1 tons in the whole of the previous year and 400 tons allowed annually since 2009, according to the World Gold Council. Nations made a fourth gold agreement in May, without a limit on sales. The European Central Bank and 20 others said then they didn’t have any plans to dispose of “significant” amounts of the metal.
Sales under the agreement have generally slowed as nations expanded bullion reserves. Countries that bought 409 tons in 2013 will probably add as much as 500 tons this year, the London-based council said in August. Gold is trading 37 percent below the record set in September 2011.
Germany accounted for most of this year’s sales, disposing of 6.4 tons. Malta, Slovak Republic, Switzerland and an unidentified country sold the rest, according to the council.
--With assistance from Suzi Ring and Nicholas Larkin in London and Rin Ichino, Maiko Takahashi and Takako Taniguchi in Tokyo.
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