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Regulators Fine Banks For Rigging Foreign-Exchange Benchmarks

Regulators in the US, UK, and Switzerland have levied fines on banks for rigging benchmarks used by fund managers to determine what they pay for foreign currency in the foreign exchange (forex) market. The fines add up to $4.3 billion in total so far – not exactly a heavy hit on the Too Big To Fail banks. Not even much of a disincentive to not do it again.

In the US of the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) exacted fines on Wall Street while regulators in other countries dealt with their own banks. And, surprise, there are no indications there will be any prosecutions for the individuals or firms involved in rigging the market. Though such prosecutions still happen, along with more fines.

The Office of Comptroller of the Currency fined Bank of America Corp. $250 million, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (C) will pay $350 million each, according to a statement. That adds to $3.3 billion of penalties announced earlier today by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority…

Citigroup and JPMorgan, two of the biggest players in the currency trading market, will pay about $1 billion each in penalties to the OCC, CFTC, and FCA. UBS AG (UBSN) was earlier today fined about $800 million, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc $634 million and HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) $618 million. Barclays Plc (BARC), which had been in settlement talks, said it wasn’t ready for a deal.

These fines for rigging benchmarks for the foreign exchange market come about two years after fines for rigging the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) a benchmark for for much of the world on loan rates. The Libor benchmark influences over $300 trillion of securities while the foreign exchange market sees about $5 trillion go through it a day. Needless to say, rigging forex and LIBOR can be quite lucrative.

These most recent fines add to litany of  crimes the banksters have paid out money for doing up to and after the financial crisis of 2008. It seems rather clear they have in no way, shape, or form learned their lesson. Expect more criminality in the financial markets.

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Regulators Fine Banks For Rigging Foreign-Exchange Benchmarks

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Regulators in the US, UK, and Switzerland have levied fines on banks for rigging benchmarks used by fund managers to determine what they pay for foreign currency in the foreign exchange (forex) market. The fines add up to $4.3 billion in total so far – not exactly a heavy hit on the Too Big To Fail banks. Not even much of a disincentive to not do it again.

In the US of the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) exacted fines on Wall Street while regulators in other countries dealt with their own banks. And, surprise, there are no indications there will be any prosecutions for the individuals or firms involved in rigging the market. Though such prosecutions still happen, along with more fines.

The Office of Comptroller of the Currency fined Bank of America Corp. $250 million, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (C) will pay $350 million each, according to a statement. That adds to $3.3 billion of penalties announced earlier today by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority…

Citigroup and JPMorgan, two of the biggest players in the currency trading market, will pay about $1 billion each in penalties to the OCC, CFTC, and FCA. UBS AG (UBSN) was earlier today fined about $800 million, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc $634 million and HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) $618 million. Barclays Plc (BARC), which had been in settlement talks, said it wasn’t ready for a deal.

These fines for rigging benchmarks for the foreign exchange market come about two years after fines for rigging the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) a benchmark for for much of the world on loan rates. The Libor benchmark influences over $300 trillion of securities while the foreign exchange market sees about $5 trillion go through it a day. Needless to say, rigging forex and LIBOR can be quite lucrative.

These most recent fines add to litany of  crimes the banksters have paid out money for doing up to and after the financial crisis of 2008. It seems rather clear they have in no way, shape, or form learned their lesson. Expect more criminality in the financial markets.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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