The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced that it is investigating the conduct of over 50 members of its staff, in a sign of penitence for its involvement in the Forex market rigging scandal.
This morning, five banks including RBS were given hefty fines by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for "failing to control business practices" in their foreign exchange trading operations.
The fines follow a year of investigations by the UK's financial watchdog into allegations of rate-rigging in their spot forex trading businesses. Traders are accused of sharing confidential information with each other and colluding to manipulate fixed rates for their own benefit, often to the possible detriment of their clients.
RBS has agreed to pay £217m to the FCA and $290m to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The other banks ordered to pay penalties are Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and UBS. All have been given fines of over £200m to the FCA.
Following the announcement of the fine, RBS chairman Philip Hampton said in a statement that the bank was looking into the activities of more 50 current and former employees worldwide. Some of these are trading staff, while others are supervisors and senior management figures who would be accountable for the business.
As part of that process, we have already placed six individuals into a disciplinary process, three of whom are currently suspended, pending further investigation. We will make a public statement before the end of the year on the progress of the conduct investigation.The RBS Board fully accepts the criticisms within today's announcements and condemns the actions of those employees responsible for this misconduct. Today is a stark reminder of the importance of culture and integrity in banking and we will rightly be judged on the strength of our response.