The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into whether Wall Street bank employees are leaking information about big trades to favored clients in order to curry favor with them, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Citing executives at Wall Street banks, The Times said the inquiry seemed to be aimed at determining the pervasiveness of insider trading on Wall Street.
The SEC sent letters last month to UBS, one of the largest stock trading firms in the world, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, requesting stock and option trading data for themselves and their customers for the last two weeks of September.
Investigators want to see if trading desks getting large block trade orders from a mutual fund, say, then tipped off other clients, like hedge funds, the paper said.
The SEC sent similar requests to Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank , The Times reported, citing a Wall Street employee.
UBS, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch declined to comment on the report. Deutsche Bank officials were not immediately available.
One person briefed on the matter said some traders, including Goldman Sachs Group , have not received such letter.