The European Commission has fined five leading banks a total of 1.07 billion euros for rigging spot forex market for 11 currencies. Among them, Citigroup has been fined €311m, RBS €249m, JPMorgan €229m, Barclays €210m and Japanese MUFG Bank almost €70m.
EU’s antitrust regulator discovered irregularities over some individual traders in the bank exchanging ‘sensitive information and trading plans’ and occasionally coordinating trading strategies among them. This allowed the traders to rig the markets in relation to outstanding customer orders and prices applied on specific transactions.
Most traders involved in this spot fixing knew each other on a personal basis and interacted with each other via chatrooms throughout their working days. Although UBS had also participated in this scandal, it was not fined because it brought this incident to the notice of the commission.
The fines announced have been the result of an intensive six year long investigation. A similar case is also being looked into by US regulators where these same banks as well as BNP Paribas have pled guilty and been fined over $2.8 billion.