BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, MUFG and Royal Bank of Scotland were fined a combined 1.07 billion euros ($1.2 billion) by the European Union on Thursday for rigging the multi-trillion dollar foreign exchange market.
Banks have been hit with billions of dollars in penalties worldwide over the last decade for the rigging of benchmarks used in many day-to-day financial transactions, further damaging the industry’s fragile reputation after the financial crisis.
The European Commission said individual traders at the banks involved formed two cartels to manipulate the spot foreign exchange market for 11 currencies, including the dollar, the euro and the pound.
“These cartel decisions send a clear message that the Commission will not tolerate collusive behavior in any sector of the financial markets,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
Citigroup was hit with the highest fine of 311 million euros, while Swiss bank UBS was not fined as it had alerted the two cartels to the European Commission.