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EU Fines 5 Banks €1.07 Bln ($1.19 Bln) For Participating In FX Spot Trading Cartel

Unic Press UK: The European Commission has fined five major banks, arclays, RBS, Citigroup, JPMorgan and MUFG, €1.07 billion ($1.19) for massive foreign exchange currency market.

The EC’s press release Thursday reads:

“In two settlement decisions, the European Commission has fined five banks for taking part in two cartels in the Spot Foreign Exchange market for 11 currencies – Euro, British Pound, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, US, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian Dollars, and Danish, Swedish and Norwegian crowns. The first decision (so-called “Forex – Three Way Banana Split” cartel) imposes a total fine of €811 197 000 on Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Citigroup and JPMorgan. The second decision (so-called “Forex- Essex Express” cartel) imposes a total fine of €257 682 000 on Barclays, RBS and MUFG Bank (formerly Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi). UBS is an addressee of both decisions, but was not fined as it revealed the existence of the cartels to the Commission.”

The five banks colluded – exchanged sensitive information and trading plans/strategies – through various online professional chatroom to fix Foreign Exchange (also called Forex) rates; and this involved some individual traders in charge of Forex spot trading on behalf of the sanctioned banks.

“Companies and people depend on banks to exchange money to carry out transactions in foreign countries. Today we have fined Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, JPMorgan and MUFG Bank and these cartel decisions send a clear message that the Commission will not tolerate collusive behaviour in any sector of the financial markets. The behaviour of these banks undermined the integrity of the sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers,” the Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said.

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