Swiss regulator fines 5 int'l banks for improper forex trading

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-07 00:03:07|Editor: yan
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GENEVA, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) said on Thursday that it has fined five international banks for their involvement in the formation of cartels that manipulated the foreign exchange market.

"COMCO has detected several anti-competitive arrangements between banks in foreign exchange spot trading," said the regulator in a statement, noting that following a fine totaling 90 million Swiss francs (90.6 million U.S. dollars), its "investigations will now be closed."

COMCO fined Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and the MUFG Bank for "anti-competitive arrangements between banks in foreign exchange spot trading."

The fines represent the conclusion of "amicable settlements," wrote COMCO, noting that the investigation into the British, Japanese and U.S. banks first began in 2013.

"Traders of several internationally active banks have partially coordinated their conduct in two separate cartels in foreign exchange spot markets regarding certain G10-currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, NZD, CAD, CHF, NOK, SEK)," noted COMCO.

One cartel called "Three-way banana split" involved traders from Barclays, UBS, Citigroup, JPMorgan, RBS and UBS, Swissinfo, the website of the national broadcaster, reported, quoting Swiss news agency SDA-Keystone.

It said traders from Barclays, MUFG Bank, RBS and UBS participated in the "Essex express" cartel.

UBS was not fined as it revealed the cartels to the competition authorities first.

Several of the other banks benefitted from reduced fines by coming forward.

Barclays was fined 27 million Swiss francs, Citigroup 28.5 million Swiss francs, JPMorgan 9.5 million Swiss francs, MUFG Bank 1.5 million Swiss francs, and RBS 22.5 million Swiss francs.

"An investigation is to be continued against Credit Suisse in the ordinary procedure," said COMCO, adding "The decision is not yet final and can still be referred to the Federal Administrative Court."

The Swiss news agency reported that the COMCO decision came after Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, MUFG and Royal Bank of Scotland were fined a combined 1.07 billion euros (1.21 billion U.S. dollars) by the European Union last month for rigging the multitrillion-dollar foreign exchange market.