Banks to Pay a Fine of +2bn Euros Regarding EC Forex Probe

European CommissionThe European Commission having its headquarters in Brussels is an antitrust regulator that is formed by the European Union. The body is all set to discuss the fines related to 8 of the most prominent banking institutions in the world to settle the 4-year-old investigation about alleged involvement which was regarded as foreign exchange cartel.

The big banks that are included in the list are UBS, HSBC, Barclays, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan Chase and two other unnamed organisations. The banks above are holding talks and discussions with the European Commission to settle the EC Forex probe by paying a fine to the tune of 2 billion Euros.

The EU Commission has conducted the probe and wanted to throw light on the illegal manipulation and rigging of global FX market which is approximately $5.3 trillion. These European and US banking firms were penalised for their alleged involvement in the cartel that has manipulated the interest rates in Forex. These rates were used as reference points to price the products and services in the range of more than $400 trillion all across the globe.

In the year 2013, Deutsche Bank was imposed with the highest fine of 725.4 million Euros for its involvement in benchmark interest rate fixing. Societe Generale, Citigroup, JPMorgan, RBS and brokerage RP Martin were other banks that were imposed with substantial penalties. In the year 2015, UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan, Citi, Bank of America and Barclays had to pay a fine of $5.6 billion in total as they were found guilty of tampering with the FX market from December 2007 to January 2013. The Swiss banking firm UBS and UK based Barclays were able to prevent the fine of approximately 3 billion Euros collectively as they were instrumental in exposing the cartels.

According to a global financial organisation Boston Consulting Group, the banking firms have paid a whopping amount of $320 billion as a penalty since the probe was started by the Swiss, British and American officials back in 2008.The cartel case is regarded as one of the most significant cases that have been handled by EU Commission in its history. It was quite difficult for the regulator to investigate due to the complexity of alleged misconduct covering some different currencies.

The banking organisations that were involved in the cartel case have met with the officials of EU Commission at the beginning of this year to review the evidence brought by the investigation. In due course of time, these banks are looking forward to negotiating the penalty amount levied by EU. Till now there is no official confirmation of the meeting between the regulator and banks. More information of the bank settlement and amount of fines will be announced in 2018.

Steven Rudford

Steven Rudford

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