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SEC launches major insider trading probe

SEC launches major insider trading probe
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it has launched a new inquiry into bank trades carried out by Wall Street banks.

A number of mutual funds have accused some of America's top investment houses of leaking large share trade information to certain hedge fund clients.

The preliminary inquiry by the US financial watchdog will try and determine whether or not confidential information was used illegally to influence trades.

Carried out by SEC inspectors, the inquiry will also try and establish whether such leaks are common practice on Wall Street major institutions and letters have already been sent out to top executives, according to the New York Times.

The inquiry will be led by the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) and will concentrate on stock and option trades during the last two weeks of September.