Citi, J.P. Morgan, Barclays, RBS, and UBS pay $5.7 billion to foreign currency rate rigging investigations

Five global banks, UBS, JP Morgan, Barclay’s, RBS and Citigroup have agreed to pay $5.7 billion in penalties and will plead guilty to criminal charges resolving a U.S. investigation of traders at the banks colluding to rig foreign currency rates in to benefit themselves. Authorities said euro dollar traders at the banks, communicated through coded language in an online chat room coordinating movement of the foreign exchange rates set at 1:15 and 4 p.m.The traders witheld bids or offers to avoid moving the rate negative to  open positions held by other members of their “group”, in violation of antitrust laws, prosecutors said.

The $5.7 billion is in addition to $4.3 billion paid by some of the banks in November to end similar charges from the United States and United Kingdom.

No traders have yet been criminally charged over the conduct, but New York’s financial regulator but Barclays to fire eight employees in connection with the resolution. Investigations into individuals are continuing.

Citigroup is paying the largest criminal fine of $925 million. The other banks were accused of engaging in the conduct for various periods with that time frame.

J.P. Morgan will pay a fine of $550 million.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers