Nov 3 (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors and the commodities regulator have asked some banks to provide information in connection with a broad probe into whether their traders rigged auctions on government debt, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The prosecutors at the Fraud Section at the Justice Department and investigators at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sent the requests to many of the banks that serve as primary dealers, which are authorized to deal directly with the government on the sale of Treasury bonds, the newspaper reported. (on.wsj.com/1P8hJAA)
The list of primary dealers includes Goldman Sachs Group Inc , as well as other Wall Street banks and many of their European and Asian counterparts. There are 22 primary dealers, but it is not clear whether all of those firms received the requests, the paper said.
The involvement of the CFTC suggests investigators are examining futures trading that occurs ahead of and around Treasury auctions. However, it is not clear why the DoJ's Fraud Section is taking the lead on the inquiry, but indicates prosecutors are focused on allegations of manipulation, rather than collusion, the newspaper said.
Reuters could not immediately reach Goldman Sachs, the DoJ and the CFTC for comment outside regular business hours. (Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)