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Four major banks pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates and six banks were fined a total of nearly $6-billion in a settlement that substantially ends a global probe into misconduct in the $5-trillion-a-day market.
In total, authorities in the United States and Europe have fined seven banks over $10-billion for failing to stop their forex traders from sharing confidential information about client orders and co-ordinating trades to boost their own profits.
The four banks pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulate the foreign exchange market.
Barclays fired 8 employees as part of its settlement and New York's Superintendent of Financial Services warned that it was still probing the bank's use of electronic systems for foreign exchange trading, which make up the vast majority of transactions in the market.
Swiss bank UBS, which avoided a guilty plea over the forex debacle, pleaded guilty instead to one count of wire fraud and will pay a $203-million fine for its role in rigging Libor after its involvement in the forex scandal breached an earlier DOJ agreement.
The U.S. central bank fined six banks for unsafe and unsound practices in the foreign exchange markets, including a $205-million fine for Bank of America, which, like UBS, avoided a guilty plea.
NEW YORK Five of the world's largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc, were fined roughly $5.7 billion, and four of them pleaded guilty to U.S. criminal charges over manipulation of foreign exchange rates, authorities said on Wednesday.
A fifth bank, UBS AG, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates, the U.S. Justice Department said.
U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup will pay $550 million and $925 million in criminal fines, respectively, as part of their guilty pleas.
British banks Barclays Plc will pay $650 million in criminal penalties and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc $395 million.
Euro dollar traders at four of the banks described themselves as members of "The Cartel" and used an electronic chat room and coded language to manipulate exchange rates to increase profits, the Justice Department said.
Barclays will pay a $60 million criminal penalty for violating an earlier non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department to resolve a probe of the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and other benchmark interest rates.
Authorities in the United States and Britain accused traders at Citigroup, JP Morgan, Barclays, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland of brazenly cheating their clients to boost their own profits using invitation-only chatrooms and coded language to coordinate their trades.
The misconduct occurred up until 2013, after regulators had started punishing banks for rigging the London interbank offered rate, an interest rate benchmark, and banks had pledged to overhaul their corporate culture and bolster compliance.
Wednesday's settlement stands out because Citigroup, JP Morgan, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland pleaded guilty and for the size of the penalties, including a $2.5 billion fine by the Department of Justice, the largest set of antitrust fines ever obtained in its history.
Lawyers said the guilty pleas would make it much easier for pension funds and investment managers who have regular currency dealings with banks to sue the banks for losses on those trades.
Barclays' sales staff would offer clients a different price to the one offered by the bank's traders, known as a "Mark-up" to boost profits.
The U.S. central bank fined six banks for unsafe and unsound practices in the foreign exchange markets, including a $205 million fine for Bank of America, which, like UBS, avoided a guilty plea.
Barclays suspends currency traders as forex probe widens UK bank Barclays places staff on suspension, as US banks Citigroup and JP Morgan are dragged into a growing currency market rigging ... Barclays sets aside £500 million for forex probe in latest banking scandal. UBS and Deutsche bank this week made huge extra “litigation” provisions but did not specify how much was for the ... Barclays will pay an additional $150m to New York's financial regulator to resolve allegations that it rigged foreign exchange trading. Forex probe: Barclays pays extra $150m Shop @ Loot Barclays joins banks helping with forex probe. Steve Slater, Matt Scuffham. 5 Min Read. LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays is cooperating with regulators investigating possible manipulation of currency ... Barclays declined to comment, but a source close to the matter confirmed that six employees had been suspended. Some of the six were reportedly based outside Britain. Deutsche Bank, Swiss bank UBS and U.S. banks Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase are also caught up in the forex probe. Barclays to pay $150 million more to New York regulator in forex probe. Suzanne Barlyn . 3 Min Read (Reuters) - Barclays Plc will pay an additional $150 million to New York State’s financial ... Ex-Barclays trader pleads guilty in U.S. in forex probe. By Nate Raymond. 3 Min Read. NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Barclays Plc BARC.L trader pleaded guilty on Wednesday to U.S. charges arising ...
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