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Banks Hit With Record Fines for Forex Manipulation [Chart]

Banks Hit With Record Fines for Forex Manipulation [Chart]

Banks Hit With Record Fines for Forex Manipulation [Chart]

The Chart of the Week is a weekly feature in Visual Capitalist on Fridays.

Few things in life are guaranteed. There’s death and taxes of course, but is anything else inevitable?

We’d say the cat and mouse game between regulators and financial institutions ranks up there. The rodents are usually pretty elusive, but this week the cat had them cornered and made off with their lunch.

On Wednesday, six major banks got more than just their wrists slapped by various authorities including The Fed, the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

The total fines add up to nearly $6 billion for the manipulation of foreign currency rates for the benefit of traders. The biggest hit this week was to Barclays, with the bank getting a $2.5 billion fine in the probe. Barclays, along with three other banks (Citi, JPMorgan, and RBS) had pleaded guilty to criminal charges for forex manipulation with the market prices for US dollars and euros. UBS, the bank that was granted immunity in the antitrust case, did also plead guilty to manipulating LIBOR.

The guilty pleads are no surprise, as the details of these collusion allegations are pretty damning. Evidence of trader conversations in chatrooms have been leaked by authorities and there are pages upon pages of them.

Some of the classics (from above sources):

  • “If you aint cheating, you aint trying.”
  • “its just amazing how libor fixing can make you that much money”
  • “give the rate that was most advantageous to the bank, but would not make the customer go away!”
  • “JUST BE CAREFUL DUDE.” “I agree we shouldn’t ve been talking about putting fixings for our positions on public chat.”

Yes, you probably shouldn’t be talking about putting fixings on positions in public chat. Enjoy your new job (probably working for some government agency “teaching” them how forex manipulation works).

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  • EMPEA

    Just curious why no one ever goes to jail over these criminal charges. The fines are the equivalent of a few days profit for these criminal organizations. Big deal. Send a few of these criminals to jail for a few years and maybe, just maybe, they will clean up their act and behave like socially responsible corporate citizens instead of the criminals they are.
    I doubt it will happen, because they own the government and they run the country. If you think the president does, your sadly mistaken. The SEC? Just as corrupt.

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