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Barclays and RBS fined for fixing currency trading

(c) Sky News 2019: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/barclays-and-rbs-fined-for-fixing-currency-trading-11735881">Barclays and RBS fined for fixing currency trading</a>
 

Authorities in Switzerland have fined five banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays, for fixing foreign exchange trading through cartels dubbed "Three Way Banana Split" and "Essex Express".

The WEKO competition regulator said it had issued penalties totalling 90m Swiss francs (£71.3m).

They were issued weeks after the European Commission imposed larger fines on the five - also including Citi, JPMorgan and MUFG.

The watchdog said its investigation found "several anti-competitive practices" but spared domestic bank UBS from any punishment after it first alerted officials to the allegations.

Its statement said: "Traders of Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan, RBS and UBS (listed in alphabetical order) participated in the 'Three way banana split' cartel from 2007 to 2013.

"Participants in the 'Essex Express' cartel (from 2009 to 2012) were traders of Barclays, MUFG Bank, RBS and UBS.

"The coordination of certain G10-currencies took place in chatrooms."

Barclays was fined £21.5m while RBS was ordered to pay £17.8m. The banks were yet to give their responses to the additional penalties.

The fines mark the latest legacy issues to be concluded for the banks.

The sector has faced big bill for a series of past mistakes ranging from the mis-selling of financial products to rigging interest and currency rates.