Articles Tagged with Currency rigging

Credit Suisse AG (CS) has agreed to settle currency rigging charges brought by New York’s Department of Financial Services by paying $135M. According to the state regulator, from at least ’08 to ’15, the Zurich-based bank violated NY banking law and engaged in other “unlawful conduct” that “disadvantaged customers.”

The consent order states that Credit Suisse did not put into place controls over its FX business that were “effective.” Also, its traders are accused of the “inappropriate sharing” of information with other banks that could have resulted in exchange rate rigging, coordination of trades, and a rise in the “ bid/ask spreads” that were offered to the bank’s forex customers. The DFS probe said that these actions were geared toward creating more profit for Credit Suisse, while decreasing its losses and harming not just its own customers but the marketplace. Meantime, other banks that it may have colluded with also sought to profit.

Credit Suisse is one of several banks whose traders are accused of gathering in chat rooms to rig currency prices. According to Bloomberg, traders from Barclays PLC (BARC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), and Citigroup (C) are waiting for their trials over allegations that they sought to manipulate currencies. To date, banks accused of currency rigging have paid $5.8M to the US Justice Department to settle charges.

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According to Bloomberg.com, U.S. prosecutors are thinking about revoking settlements in currency manipulation settlements that were agreed upon years ago and going after banks for manipulating interest rates. The Department of Justice is looking at whether banks violated the earlier deals that resolved those investigations, which stipulated that they would not break the law. If the government finds that banks did in fact commit crimes after the earlier settlements were reached it would be able to revoke those deals.

It has been a common practice for the DOJ to offer deferred prosecution and non-prosecution settlements in probes involving a number of matters, including market manipulation and violations of sanctions. Banks admit responsibility while cooperating with the investigation.

To rescind such a deal would be unprecedented. Among the banks that have settled probes over London interbank offered rate, also known as Libor, are Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS), Barclays Plc (BARC), and UBS Group AG (UBS).