The European Commission has imposed a fine of €1.07 billion on five different banks – including Barclays, RBS, Citigroup, JPMorgan and MUFG – for “their collusion in relation to transactions conducted in the foreign exchange market,” according to an EU press release published on Thursday.
UBS Bank was also found guilty of engaging in similar anti-competitive practices, although it was not fined due to the fact that it was the bank originally responsible for disclosing the existence of such collusion to the Commission back in 2013.
“The Commission’s investigation has revealed that these banks exchanged sensitive information relating to the foreign exchange market, and often coordinated their operations and business strategies,” said the press release. “Such exchange of information, which was largely a result of a tacit agreement between the participating banks, allowed them to make informed market decisions about whether to sell or buy various currencies at different times.”
In determining the size of the fine, the Commission took into account the overall value of the sales and purchases made by the banks in question, as well as the degree of seriousness and duration of each particular offence.
The press release also emphasised that “any person or company harmed by anti-competitive practices such as those described in this case may appeal to the courts of the relevant Member State to claim damages.”