U.S. Department of Justice Wants Citigroup, Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, and Royal Bank of Scotland to Plead Guilty to Criminal Charges In Currency Antitrust Investigation

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department is going to try to make four big banks plead guilty to criminal anti-trust charges related to its traders’ alleged collusion in foreign-currency markets. The financial institutions are Citigroup Inc. (C), Barclays PLC (BARC), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and J.P. Morgan Chase & CO. (JPM). Meantime, separate criminal fraud cases are being pursued against the individuals whose involvements are suspected.

The DOJ’s probe is examining whether bank employees manipulated foreign-currency exchange rates to their benefit, and in certain cases, hurting customers. In a separate investigation, New York’s Department of Financial Services is looking at whether some of the biggest banks used computer programs to manipulate foreign exchange rates. The department installed monitors at Deutsche Bank AG (DB) and Barclays in 2014 and has sent subpoenas to Goldman Sachs (GS), Société Générale, and BNP Paribas about the way they use these types of programs. The subpoenas were sent not because there was necessarily evidence of wrongdoing but because the banks are actively involved in these markets.

As we mentioned in a recent blog post, JPMorgan has just agreed to pay $99.5 million to settle its portion of a currency rigging case. In that litigation, institutional investors are accusing 12 banks of rigging prices in the foreign exchange market. By settling the financial instruction is not denying or admitting to wrongdoing.

JPMorgan to pay $99.5 million to resolve currency rigging lawsuit, Reuters, January 31, 2015

U.S. Seeks Guilty Pleas From 4 Banks in Currency Antitrust Probe, The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2015

More Blog Posts:
SEC Headlines: Regulator Probes Oppenheimer Executive, Prepares Insider Trading Case Against Policy Research Firm, & Wants to Suspend Standard & Poor’s From Rating CMBSs, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 10, 2014

UBS Under Scrutiny in New Tax Evasion Probe, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, February 4, 2015

SEC Claims Investment Adviser Paid for Fraud Settlement With Client Monies, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 5, 2015