Judge Formalises FX Fines for Banks

A US District Court judge has ratified fines against five
banks following their guilty plea last year over currency market manipulation.

Judge Stefan Underhill in Bridgeport Connecticut agreed
fines for Citi of $925 billion, Barclays $650 million, JP Morgan $550 million,
Royal Bank of Scotland $395 million and UBS $203 million after the banks
pleaded guilty
to FX market abuse in mid-2015. The fines were recommended
by the US government and accepted by Judge Underhill last week.

As he handed down the final decision, however, Judge
Underhill is reported by Bloomberg News
to have recommended the US authorities now pursue individuals involved in the
cases.

“Mischief
will be best deterred if the people responsible are not only fired but that any
compensation made to them that was triggered by the wrongful conduct, for
example bonuses, are clawed back or disgorged,” Bloomberg News cites Judge Underhill as saying. “Frankly I would
encourage the government to consider prosecution of individuals.”

When the
guilty pleas were first entered, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed
the US Department of Justice was pursuing individual traders and only last week
one former trader, Jason Katz, pleaded
guilty
to charges of market manipulation, while two others, HSBC’s former
head of FX trading Mark Johnson and head of EMEA FX Stuart Scott still face
charges.

Colin Lambert

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