Some of the world’s largest banks were today slapped with millions of pounds in fines for their role in rigging foreign exchange markets.
HSBC, Barclays, Credit Suisse and NatWest were each reprimanded by the European Commission for having employees on their books that created a cartel that spiked currency markets.
HSBC was hit with the biggest fine at £148.3m, followed by Credit Suisse, which was hit with a £70.8m penalty.
Barclays and NatWest, formerly RBS, were whacked with £46.2m and £27.6m fines respectively.
HSBC, NatWest and Barclays admitted to the offences in exchange for a reduced penalty.
Swiss bank UBS narrowly avoided a fine as it told the European Commission about the existence of the cartel, which was managed through a chatroom called “Sterling Lads”.
The group of traders, each working for banks that compete against each other in foreign exchange markets, shared sensitive information and coordinated strategies via the chatroom, the Commission said.