Banks brace for record forex settlement fine

Kate McCann
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Antony Jenkins, the chief executive of Barclays bank
BANKS in the UK will today be told how much they have to pay the banking regulator in fines, following a year-long investigation into the manipulation of foreign exchange markets.

Six banks, including three based in the UK, will face record fines this morning as part of the forex probe. The combined penalty to be spread across the banks is expected to be £1.5bn, following weeks of talks and an agreement by bosses to settle on claims that their traders rigged the market.

Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland are each expecting to be hit with payment demands of around £250m when the Financial Conduct Auth­ority (FCA) releases details this morning. Regulators in America and Switz­er­land are also thought to be preparing to levy fines for the manipulation of forex markets which could see some banks hit twice or three times.

Talks between the regulator and all six banks, including US-based Citi and JP Morgan and Swiss bank UBS, continued late last night, as the FCA sought to avoid a repeat of the Libor scandal for which some banks are yet to be fined.

The highest FCA fine levied so far was during the Libor rate rigging scandal when UBS was hit with a £160m fine in 2012.

Following this case the rules were changed and all money levied now goes to the Treasury after FCA costs, providing a welcome and well-timed boost for the chancellor, George Osborne.

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