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EU fines HSBC, Credit Suisse, others over 'Sterling Lads' forex cartel

Stock MarketsDec 02, 2021 14:17
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Barclays logo is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration 2/2

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -EU antitrust regulators on Thursday fined Barclays (LON:BARC) , Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN), HSBC and NatWest (LON:NWG) 344 million euros ($390 million) for foreign exchange market rigging, closing a key chapter in a high-profile investigation.

UBS avoided a 94 million euro fine by alerting the European Commission to the cartel, which was set up via a chatroom known as "Sterling Lads".

HSBC received the largest fine at 174.3 million euros, followed by Credit Suisse at 83.3 million euros, Barclays at 54.3 million and RBS at 32.5 million.

Barclays, HSBC and RBS - known as NatWest since a rebranding - admitted wrongdoing in return for a reduced penalty.

NatWest said the misconduct took place about a decade ago in a single chatroom, involved a former employee and that its culture and controls had since fundamentally changed.

UBS said it had been the first bank to disclose potential misconduct and was pleased the matter was resolved.

Barclays, Credit Suisse and HSBC declined to comment.

Some of the world's biggest banks have been fined more than $11 billion collectively by U.S. and European regulators since allegations first surfaced around 2013 that dealers were rigging the world's largest financial market. Dozens of traders were suspended or fired.

The latest investigation focused on foreign exchange (forex) spot trading of G10 currencies, the most liquid and traded currencies in the world, which include the U.S. dollar, pound and euro.

Traders exchanged sensitive information and trading plans and sometimes coordinated strategies through the online chatroom, the Commission said.

The EU has already sanctioned some of the same banks over similar conduct in 2019 in a settlement featuring chatrooms called "Three Way Banana Split", "Only Marge","Essex Express" and "Semi Grumpy Old Men".

"Today we complete our sixth cartel investigation in the financial sector since 2013 and conclude the third leg of our investigation into the foreign exchange spot trading market," EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

She said the collusive behaviour of the five banks undermined the integrity of the financial sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers.

Barclays, Citigroup (NYSE:C), JP Morgan, MUFG and RBS were fined a combined 1.07 billion euros in May 2019 by the EU antitrust authorities for manipulating the foreign exchange market via two cartels, between 2007 to 2013 for one group and between 2009 to 2012 for the other.

($1 = 0.8828 euros)

EU fines HSBC, Credit Suisse, others over 'Sterling Lads' forex cartel
 

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Comments (7)
jan hui
jan hui Dec 02, 2021 16:40
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Who really cares if it creates volatility and liquidity. Its no different to media creating a narrative for their own agenda. Let them play. It’ll all show up in the order flow
Martin Beischer
Martin Beischer Dec 02, 2021 14:09
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Make Billions pay back a small percentage in a fine. Back handers all over the place!
Empty Space
Empty Space Dec 02, 2021 11:58
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what percentage does this represent in relation to the money they made?Should be fined 120% of the profit from these kinds of fraud. Then it would stop.There is clearly no interest in stopping this.
valentino di pierro
valentino di pierro Dec 02, 2021 11:53
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Blockchains should replace those banks. No more cheating please!
Market Makers
Market Makers Dec 02, 2021 11:50
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Very, very bad banks. You should be ashamed of yourselves and you should broken up.
Ron Andra
Ron Andra Dec 02, 2021 11:50
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shame, haha. pocket full of money 💰
Thomas Barnard Linsell
Thomas Barnard Linsell Dec 02, 2021 11:47
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That is why I now use Wise. The Banks hate them.
Kal Mistry
Kal Mistry Dec 02, 2021 11:46
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Banksters! 🤨
 
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