On Thursday, Switzerland’s competition authority Weko, made an announcement. The announcement was about a 90 million Swiss francs fine imposed on five banks for conspiring to steal trillions of dollars from the foreign exchange market.
Last month, the European Union had equally fined the same banks an amount not exceeding €1.07 billion, which is equivalent to roughly $1.20 billion.
Weko uncovered various exploitative plans between the financial institutions Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and JP Morgan.
In Japan, a bank known as MUFG was also penalized for being part of the forex trading scam. The said illegal dealings included traders who coordinated their illegal ventures using online chatrooms and different trading platforms like:
According to Weko, these above-mentioned banks participated in the ‘Three-way banana split’ cartel from the year 2007 till 2013. Another cartel by the name of Essex Express was a scam run by the RBS, Barclays, UBS, and MUFG banks. This cartel ran from 2009 to 2012.
Each bank received a different penalty for their involvement in the dealings. For instance, MUFG Bank received a fine of 1.5 million francs, whereas Barclays Bank was penalized 27 million francs, RBS 22.5 million francs, Citigroup 28.5 million francs, and JP Morgan 9.5 million francs.
However, the UBS Bank escaped the fines as they were the first to expose the cartels to the authorities during the Credit Suisse investigations. Weko also announced that their investigation into Julius Baer and Zuercher Kantonal Bank came to an end.
A Credit Suisse spokesperson announced the progressive cooperation between Credit Suisse and Weko in the investigation process but planned to challenge the reality of the claims. Citi Bank was unavailable for comments, and Barclays, JP Morgan, and RBS refused to comment.