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Citigroup hit hardest as EU fines banks $1.2 billion over foreign exchange

Bloomberg/ 17 May 19 | 01:07 AM

Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co are among five banks that agreed to pay European Union (EU) fines totalling 1.07 billion euros ($1.2 billion) for colluding on foreign-exchange trading strategies. Citigroup was hit hardest with a 310.8-million euros penalty, followed by fines of 249.2 million euros and 228.8 million euros for RBS and JPMorgan, the European Commission said in a statement on Thursday.

Barclays was fined 210.3 million euros and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group must pay nearly 70 million euros as part of the settlement with the EU’s antitrust regulator. Traders ran two cartels on online cha-trooms, swapping sensitive information and trading plans that allowed them make informed decisions to buy or sell currencies.

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Many of them knew each other, calling one chatroom on the Bloomberg terminal the "Essex Express n’ the Jimmy" because all of the traders but one met on a commuter train from Essex to London.

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