The European Commission fined Citigroup Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays and MUFG Bank a total of 1.07 billion euros ($1.2 billion) for colluding on FX rates, in practice rigging the foreign exchange market.
Citigroup Inc. was fined 310.8 million euros, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc – 249.2 million euros, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. will have to pay 228.8 million euros.
The three banks were part of the “Banana Split” cartel, along with Barclays, which also participated in the “Essex Express” cartel, where the other culprits were the Japanese MUFG Bank and RBS again.
The total fines for the “Banana Split” cartel amount to 811 million euros, while for the “Essex Express” cartel – 258 million euros.
The bank that reviled the cartels – the Swiss UBS will not pay financial penalties.
According to the European Commission the market manipulations happened between 2007 and 2013. The investigation revealed that forex traders, while working for the banks, used online chat rooms to share trading plans and from time to time to coordinated trading strategies.
The practice “undermined the integrity of the sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers”, said Margrethe Vestager, Competition Commissioner, quoted by BBC.
Banks were fined for manipulating the forex markets by UK, US and Swiss regulators in 2014 as well, when they paid about 11,8 billion USD plus another 2,3 billion as a compensation to customers and investors.
The cartels were revealed back in September 2013.