Billions in fines for FX rigging imminent for four major banks

The large financial penalties which were handed down by US, Swiss and British regulatory authorities amounting to $4.3 billion at the end of last year were by far not the final chapter in the high profile FX rate manipulation investigation.

Far from it. Continual class action law suits and civil action has been looming for major financial institutions since, as well as criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies in several jurisdictions.

According to the Wall Street Journal, four big banks are expected to plead guilty to rigging foreign-currency exchange rates and pay billions in combined penalties as part of settlement agreements expected to be announced as early as next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The report continues to state that U.S. prosecutors are preparing to announce separate settlements simultaneously with Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). and Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS), these people said. The banks are expected to plead guilty to criminal antitrust charges for alleged collusion by traders in foreign-currency markets.

UBS AG (SWX:UBSN), which was the first bank to step forward and cooperate with federal investigators in their probe, also is expected to reach a settlement but will receive immunity from prosecution, these people said.

While the Justice Department’s fraud investigators made a big push to build criminal cases against individuals related to the alleged manipulation of foreign-exchange rates, the agency doesn’t plan to announce any criminal charges against individual traders next week, these people said. Those criminal probes are ongoing and individuals could be charged later, they said.

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