`Banks

Five major banks — including UBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, and Citibank — just got slammed with $3.4 billion in fines following a lengthy probe over accusations that traders had tried to manipulate currency markets.

Authorities in Switzerland, the UK, and the US were all involved in the investigation, which resulted in the biggest set of charges ever levied by British financial regulators. 

One regulator, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said that in a five-year period between January 2008 and October 2013, “ineffective controls at the Banks allowed G10 spot FX traders to put their Banks’ interests ahead of those of their clients, other market participants, and the wider UK financial system.”

The FCA continued: “These failings allowed traders at those Banks to behave unacceptably. They shared information about clients’ activities which they had been trusted to keep confidential and attempted to manipulate G10 spot FX currency rates, including in collusion with traders at other firms, in a way that could disadvantage those clients and the market.”

Such examples of “unacceptable banker behaviour” are captured in chat transcripts among traders and released by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission as part of its investigation. In the clip below traders from two different banks manipulate fixing windows and proceed to congratulate their team’s effort.        Full story here