Swiss regulator hands out fines for FX cartel
(6 June 2019 – Europe) Switzerland’s competition authority will fine four British and US banks $91 million for colluding to rig foreign exchange markets.
Weko, as the Swiss regulator is known, found that traders at Barclays, JPMorgan, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland worked together in a cartel-style arrangement to manipulate currency prices for their own gain, the FT has reported.
The fine comes weeks after the EU handed out €1 billion in penalties for similar misconduct.
UBS escaped a fine because it blew the whistle on the other banks in the group, while Credit Suisse is fighting the allegations and refused to settle, the people said. The two Swiss banks also declined to comment on the probe.
Last month the EU fined Barclays, Citi, RBS, JPMorgan and Japan’s MUFG €1 billion after its own five-year investigation into manipulation of the $5trillion-a-day forex market. UBS also escaped a fine in that probe for alerting authorities to the misconduct, and Credit Suisse is similarly fighting the EU’s case.
Since allegations of benchmark currency rate manipulation first surfaced in 2013 more than a dozen financial institutions have paid almost $12 billion in fines around the world.