FX rate manipulation to cost four banks $3 billion as guilty plea draws near

This week, four major banks, namely Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), and Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) will plead guilty to allegations that the institutions played a significant part in a prolonged period of FX rate manipulation which was subject to investigation by British, Swiss and US regulatory authorities last year.

Whilst the regulators concluded their investigations and fined six banks a collective $4.3 billion, class action law suits and criminal investigations continued.

It had been anticipated by these four banks, some of the largest handlers of interbank FX order flow in the world, would be found liable, and therefore subject to a substantial fine, hence provisions having been made by many large banks, as stated in several of their annual reports recently.

A guilty plea is likely to emerge this week, which will result in a collective fiscal penalty of approximately $3 billion.

Commenting yesterday in the Daily Mail’s This is Money division, Tim Howarth, Banking Regulation Partner at KPMG stated “Each time a bank is fined it adds another layer of mistrust. This in turn means politicians are better placed to talk about banker bonuses, bank levies and generally higher taxes for the industry.”

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