The European Commission has fined five banks with a $1.1 billion fine for rigging the foreign exchange market.
Barclays, RBS, Citigroup, JP Morgan, and MUFG are facing fines, while UBS won’t suffer financial penalties, since it alerted the European Commission to these illegal activities.
These illegal activities took place from 2007 to 2013, during which several exchange traders shared trading plans and coordinated strategies over online chatrooms. These traders formed two cartels that manipulated the spot foreign exchange market for over ten currencies, including the United States dollar, the euro, and the British pound.
Margrethe Vestager, the European competition commissioner, said in a statement that the commission will not tolerate such behavior when it comes to the financial market.
JP Morgan and RBS claim that they are pleased with the settlement to this case, MUFG stated that they have undertaken measures to stop this from ever happening again. Both Citigroup and Barclays have, so far, refused to comment.
But this could be just the beginning of the problems these banks will face. Lambros Kilaniotis, a RPC law firm partner, said that the Commission’s findings could be an invitation for damaged parties to sue said banks – especially from pension funds and other similar clients that have been negatively affected by these currency manipulations.