The European Commission (EC) has imposed a fine of 1,068 million euros on Thursday on banks Barclays, RBS, Citigroup, JPMorgan and MUFG for their participation in two cartels in the currency exchange markets with eleven different currencies, agreements that Brussels "undermined the integrity of the sector".
An EC investigation determined that several agents of the involved banks "exchanged sensitive information and exchange plans, and occasionally coordinated their strategies through internet chat rooms," which allowed them to "make informed decisions" about whether to buy or sell currency and when to do it.
In particular, Brussels has imposed a joint fine of 811.2 million euros to Barclays, RBS, Citigroup and JPMorgan for participating in a poster they called "Banana-Split Trio" ("Three Way Banana Split"). In addition, it has fined 257.7 million Barclays, RBS and MUFG for participating in a second poster called «Essex Express».
"These decisions send the clear signal that the Commission will not tolerate collusive behavior in any sector of the financial markets. The behavior of these banks damaged the integrity of the sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers, "stressed the Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager. (tagsToTranslate) fine (t) banks