By Douwe Miedema
WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) - The top U.S. derivatives
regulator is probing a widely used benchmark for swaps, the
trade body overseeing the rate said, dealing a further blow to
the market after the sprawling Libor probe.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has
subpoenaed the International Swaps and Derivatives Association
(ISDA) over its ISDAfix benchmark, widely used to
anchor market rates, a spokeswoman for ISDA said.
Bloomberg reported on Monday that the CFTC was investigating
derivatives broker ICAP Plc and as many as 15 banks in a
probe into the possible manipulation of the benchmark.
The CFTC, which oversees the $640 trillion derivatives
market, wants to know if ICAP's staff were colluding with the
banks, who stand to profit from inaccurate quotes, Bloomberg
said, quoting people familiar with the matter.
ICAP said in a statement it had no knowledge of the
allegations prior to the Bloomberg report. The broker is
cooperating with the CFTC's wider probe into the area, it said.
The CFTC did not immediately return a request for comment.
The CFTC's probe came about as it was working with European
regulators in the scandal surrounding the Libor interbank rate
benchmark, Bloomberg said, which has lead to have fines for UBS
AG, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and
The fixings are based on a survey of panel banks for the
different currencies, according to the ISDA website. ICAP
collects these contributions and sends them on to Thomson
Reuters Corp, which calculates the fixing.
A spokeswoman for Thomson Reuters had no immediate comment.