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Bank of England discussed setting Libor rates over a year before investigation

The Bank of England discussed the process for setting foreign exchange rates with top London currency dealers a year before a global investigation into the alleged manipulation of the Libor rate.

Documents seen by Reuters, following a freedom of information request, indicate there was a brief discussion of "processes around fixes" and "extra levels of compliance" at a meeting of the chief dealers subgroup of the London Foreign Exchange Joint Standing Committee.

This refers to the daily setting of benchmark exchange rates.

Two sources with knowledge of the meeting told the news provider that traders made the Bank of England aware of the use of online chat rooms prior to rate-setting.

Britain's market watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), began enquiries into rate fixing in the first quarter of 2013, but did not formally open an investigation until October 2013.

A source close to the UK probe said the FCA were only informed of the issues raised at the BoE's April 2012 meeting several months later.

By Gary Cooper