Swiss competition authority investigates 8 banks on possible foreign exchange market-fixing

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

The Swiss Competition Commission says 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 Monday that there are "indications" that the banks have cooperated to manipulate exchange rates on trading between banks by sharing confidential information, price-setting and coordinating actions.

It says 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."