Major banks fined over forex manipulation

Major banks fined over forex manipulationSix leading banks have been fined following an investigation into foreign exchange rate irregularities.

HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Swiss bank UBS and US banks JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America have been collectively fined £2.6 billion because of their involvement in attempts to influence exchange rates.

An investigation into Barclays’ role in the forex scandal is still ongoing, but a similar outcome is expected, although the bank has refused to reach a joint settlement with regulators.

“After discussions with other regulators and authorities, we have concluded that it is in the interests of the company to seek a more general coordinated settlement,” said a statement from Barclays.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which conducted the UK investigation, explained the banks had broken the public’s trust and that there would be further action taken against the institutions.

FCA chief Martin Wheatley told BBC News: “This isn’t the end of the story.

“The individuals themselves will face the consequences.”

It is understood that several traders at the six banks have already been suspended and the Serious Fraud Office is currently examining criminal charges against some of those involved in the rate fixing.

The foreign exchange market is responsible for trading around $5.3 trillion worth of currencies each day and around 40 per cent of the trading is done via London.

“At the heart of today’s action is our finding that the failings at these banks undermine confidence in the UK financial system and put its integrity at risk,” the FCA said.

Chancellor George Osborne called for strong action to help ensure the actions of a few did not have a major impact on the country’s financial services industry reputation.

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