RBS and Barclays fined over forex rigging scandal by Swiss regulator

Written by Oliver Wade
06/06/2019

Five banks including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays have been fined £71.39m for fixing the foreign exchange market, with the Swiss competition regulator Weko stating the lenders were involved in a “three-way banana split”.

Traders at Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, RBS and UBS took part in the scandal between 2007 and 2013 to manipulate the forex market.

Another cartel, labelled the “Essex express”, involved traders from RBS, Barclays, UBS and Japan’s MUFG Bank.

Barclays was hit with a SFr 27m fine, Citigroup SFr 28.5m, JP Morning SFr 9.5m, MUFG Bank SFr 1.5m and RBS SFr 22.5m. However, UBS was not fined as it alerted Weko to the cartel’s actions first.

The regulator said the investigate into Credit Suisse is still ongoing, though the investigations into Bank Julius Bar & Co and Zurcher Kantonalbank had been closed.

The fines from Weko come after the European Union initially fined the lenders €1.07bn for their roles in the scam. The investigation from the EU Commission identified individual traders in control of forex spot trading from the banks that shared sensitive information and trading plans.

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