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'Banana split' costs five banks a $1.2bln fine

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 5 days ago - Duration: 01:01s

'Banana split' costs five banks a $1.2bln fine

The European Commission has fined five banks a total of $1.2bln for rigging foreign exchange markets.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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'Banana split' costs five banks a $1.2bln fine

The EU has fined five banks just over one billion euros - about 1.2 billion dollars - for rigging foreign exchange markets.

Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Japan's MUFG the lenders in trouble.

Switzerland's UBS dodged a fine as it alerted authorities to what was going on.

The European Commission says the banks formed two cartels.

Their goal was to manipulate the market for 11 currencies, including the U.S. dollar and the euro.

Competition watchdogs say most of the traders knew each other.

All but one lived in the county of Essex, just outside London.

They met on their train commute into work.

The cartels were dubbed 'Essex Express' and 'Three Way Banana Split'.

Between them they operated from late 2007 to early 2013.

Now JP Morgan, RBS and MUFG say they've tightened controls to stop any recurrence.

Barclays and Citigroup declined to comment.

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