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Barclays, RBS, HSBC, Credit Suisse, and UBS were fined for taking part in the forex trading cartel

Credit Suisse, and UBS were fined for taking part in the forex trading cartel

December 3, 2021: -The European Commission has fined five banks for participating in an illegal foreign exchange trading cartel.

The commission said that UBS, Barclays, RBS, HSBC, and Credit Suisse were fined a combined total of 344 million euros in a statement on Thursday.

The investigation focused on the trading of G-10 currencies revealed that foreign exchange traders in the five banks discussed sensitive information and trading plans. They coordinated their trading plans via a professional online chatroom called Sterling Lads, the commission said.

Four of the banks’ fines, UBS, Barclays, RBS, and HSBC, were discounted by 10% as they acknowledged their participation in the cartel.

The commission said that Credit Suisse did not benefit from this reduction as it did not cooperate with authorities. Although, its fine was reduced by 4% to reflect that the bank was not liable for all aspects of the case.

UBS ultimately does not have to pay any fine as the bank received “full immunity” to reveal the existence of the cartel.

“Our cartel decisions to fine UBS, Barclays, RBS, HSBC, and Credit Suisse send a clear message that the Commission to commit to ensuring a sound and competitive financial sector that is essential for investment and growth,” Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s competition chief, said in a statement.

A spokesperson for NatWest, the parent company of RBS, told CNBC  through email, “We please to have reached this settlement regarding serious misconduct that took place in a single chatroom, and involving a former employee of the bank, nearly a decade ago.”

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