A report in the Financial Times says that eight banks are preparing to settle with the European Commission (EC) over allegations they formed a cartel to rig foreign exchange markets. The FT names six of the banks as Barclays, Citi, HSBC, JP Morgan, RBS and UBS and says two others are also preparing to settle. Any settlement may also provide extra impetus for the various legal firms seeking to replicate their success in winning civil settlements from banks in the US, in the European Union.
Tag: FX collusion
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has formally imposed a $1.2 million fine and a permanent ban on employment in the banking industry against former Barclays trader Chris Ashton, the former global head of FX spot trading at the bank.
The fine and ban is in connection with the manipulation of FX pricing benchmarks and was first announced last year.
The Fed now says that Ashton failed to answer, appear, or request a hearing in administrative law proceedings after the Board charged him with a string of offences.
Following similar settlements from the big four Australian banks, Macquarie Bank has also accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) in relation to the bank’s FX businesses.
Following an investigation, the regulator says it is concerned that the bank failed to ensure that its systems and controls were adequate to address risks relating to instances of inappropriate conduct identified by ASIC.
This settlement means that the top five Australian banks have all agreed to EUs from ASIC relating to their FX business.
The Federal Reserve has announced two enforcement actions against Deutsche Bank that require the bank to pay a combined $156.6 million in civil monetary penalties.
The bank will pay a $136.9 million fine for “unsafe and unsound practices” in the FX markets, as well as a $19.7 million fine for failure to maintain an adequate Volcker rule compliance programme.
The Fed says it found deficiencies in the Deutsche’s oversight of, and internal controls over, FX traders and that the firm failed to detect and address that its traders used electronic chat rooms to communicate with competitors about their trading positions.
ANZ and Westpac have both accepted enforceable undertakings (EU) from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) relating to control failures in their global FX businesses.
In December, the other two “majors” in Australia, CBA and NAB, each paid AUD 2.5 million after accepting similar charges.
Both ANZ and Westpac will both make a “community benefit payment” of AUD 3 million to support the financial capability of vulnerable people including women experiencing family violence, the elderly and youth at risk, ASIC says.
A Tribunal at South Africa’s Competition Commission will officially hear details of Citi’s agreed settlement with local authorities to end charges of collusion and market manipulation on May 22.
Although the bank has reached an agreement with the Commission and agreed to pay ZAR 69.5 million for its role in the alleged manipulation, local sources say the deal has to be rubber stamped by the Tribunal. Citi was the first bank of 17 charged to settle with the Commission on February 20.
South Africa’s Competition Commission says it is commencing prosecution proceedings against 14 banks over alleged collusion in ZAR markets.
The Commission has been investigating the issue since April 2015 and says it has now referred the case to the country’s Tribunal for prosecution.
The banks are Bank of America Merrill Lynch; BNP Paribas; JP Morgan; Investec; HSBC; Standard Chartered Bank; Credit Suisse; Standard Bank of South Africa; Commerzbank; ANZ; Nomura International; Macquarie Bank; ABSA Bank; and Barclays.
In some cases the case is being brought against two entities with the same organisation, if found guilty, the banks could face fines of up to 10% of their annual turnover.