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Bank of England paid law firm more than 2m pounds for FX investigation

[LONDON] The Bank of England said it paid more than 2 million pounds (US$3 million) in fees to British corporate law firm Travers Smith for its part in an investigation into the role of central bank officials in a foreign exchange trading scandal.

British lawmakers had demanded to know the cost of the investigation.

The total cost was 2.93 million pounds, excluding value-added tax, of which 2.22 million pounds was paid to Travers Smith, the Bank said in a letter to the head of a committee in Britain's parliament which monitors the BoE.

Travers Smith set up a team of up to 12 lawyers to sift through 1.8 million documents and 87,000 telephone calls, according to the letter.

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A further 401,000 pounds was paid to Anthony Grabiner, a London-based barrister who led the investigation, it said.

Both Travers Smith and Grabiner charged the BoE less than their normal commercial rate, the BoE added.

In his report published last year, Mr Grabiner said there was no evidence anyone at the Bank had been involved in unlawful behaviour in relation to the investigation.

The Bank fired its chief foreign exchange dealer on the day that the review was published for what it said were unrelated reasons.

Six banks were fined a total of more than US$4 billion in November for failing to stop traders trying to manipulate currency markets.