EU Fines Four Major Banks $390Mln Over Forex Spot Trading Cartel
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Commission fined Barclays, RBS, HSBC and Credit Suisse a total 344 million euros ($390 million) on Thursday for colluding on the Foreign Exchange spot trading market.
The EU's executive arm said in a statement that a fifth bank, UBS, dodged a fine of some 94 million euros for blowing the whistle on the cartel, while the rest got reductions for cooperating with the investigation.
"The collusive behavior of the five banks undermined the integrity of the financial sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers," Margrethe Vestager, the commission's vice president, said.
The probe found that the banks’ traders exchanged sensitive data and trading plans through an online chatroom called Sterling Lads. This behind-the-scenes coordination allowed them to make informed decisions on whether and when to sell or buy foreign currencies, thereby avoiding inherent risks.