WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — The nearly $5.7 billion settlement by five global financial institutions for rigging international exchange rates is part of their history of fraud, US Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told Sputnik on Wednesday.
“This is consistent with a long history of fraud among the major financial institutions of this country, and in fact, the world,” Sanders said.
On Wednesday, a $5.7 billion settlement was reached between the US Justice Department and JPMorgan, Citigroup, UBS, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Sanders argued that “the business model of these large financial institutions is fraud,” and called for the breakup of major US financial institutions that are considered too big to fail.
The $5.7 billion in fines is part of “a long history of settlements” by large financial institutions, Sander explained.
Each of the institutions charged on Wednesday have faced billions of dollars in civil and criminal fines and penalties in previous years, according to the Department of Justice.
Sanders noted that the US financial regulatory system “is sufficiently weak,” and said he suspects “there is a lot more fraud going on that we do not know about.”
In the course of the investigation, the authorities discovered that the five banks had colluded with one another to manipulate the LIBOR benchmark. According to financial experts, the LIBOR rate directly impacts up to $300 trillion in financial contracts held by governments, pension funds and asset managers.