Citigroup Inc To Pay Over $1B To Settle Forex Rigging Case

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Citigroup Inc To Pay Over $1B To Settle Forex Rigging Case

Citigroup is having a bad day. When you add the $350 million fine announced by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to the over $650 million Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) also agreed to pay regulators, that means that the too-big-too-fail bank has paid out over $1 billion to settle charges in the currency rate rigging scandal.

The investigation by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and UK’s Financial Conduct Authority centered around allegations that foreign exchange traders at the banks involved in the settlement conspired to manipulate the World Markets/Reuters Closing Spot Rates benchmark to make profits for their firms.

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Just last week, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) announced a $400 million charge in third quarter earnings relating to its forex division.

Citigroup: CFTC/FCA forex settlements and a separate OCC fine announced Wednesday

On Wednesday, November 12th, the U.S. CFTC and the UK’s FCA announced a $3.3 billion settlement with three major banks regarding foreign exchange market manipulation several years ago. The fines agreed to ranged from $618 million to $800 million. Swiss based UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) agreed to pay the biggest fine at $800 million, although regulators acknowledged it was the first bank to cooperate with regulators in the investigation.

In terms of the OCC fine, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) will pay $350 million apiece to the OCC, while Bank of America will cough up a cool $250 million.

Statements from regulators

“Today’s enforcement action should be seen as a message to all market participants  that wrongdoing and foul play in the financial markets is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” noted Tim Massad, chairman of the CFTC, in a statement.

“The FCA does not tolerate conduct which imperils market integrity or the wider UK financial system,” added Martin Wheatly, chief executive of the FCA. In a statement, the FCA  characterized the banks in the settlement as having committed “the worst misconduct.”

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