EU Fine HSBC, Credit Suisse and Other “Sterling Rad” Forex Cartels


Brussels — Thursday’s EU antitrust regulators fined Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC, and Natwest for € 344 million ($ 390 million) for misuse of the foreign exchange market. We have closed an important chapter in the hottest research.

UBS has avoided a € 94 million fine by warning the European Commission about a cartel set up through a chat room known as “Sterling Rad”.

HSBC received the largest fine of € 174.3 million, followed by Credit Suisse at € 83.3 million, Barclays at € 54.3 million and RBS at € 32.5 million.

Barclays, HSBC, and RBS (known as NatWest since the rebranding) have admitted fraud in exchange for reduced penalties.

According to NatWest, the illegal activity occurred in a single chat room about 10 years ago, involving former employees, and the culture and controls have changed radically since then.

UBS said it was the first bank to disclose potential fraud and was pleased that the issue was resolved.

HSBC Headquarters Hong Kong
HSBC Headquarters was lit up in Hong Kong’s Central Financial District on November 3, 2015. (BobbyYip / Reuters)

Barclays, Credit Suisse and HSBC declined to comment.

Since around 2013, allegations of dealers tampering with the world’s largest financial markets first surfaced, some of the world’s largest banks have totaled more than $ 11 billion from US and European regulators. I have been fined. Dozens of traders have been suspended or fired.

The latest research focused on forex (forex) spot trading of the G10 currency, the world’s most liquid currency, such as the US dollar, pound and euro.

According to the committee, traders exchanged sensitive information and trading plans, sometimes coordinating strategies through online chat rooms.

The EU has settled with chat rooms called “Three Way Banana Split,” “Only Marge,” “Essex Express,” and “Semi Grumpy Old Men,” and in 2019 it was already part of the same bank in a similar act. I am authorized.

“Today, we have completed our sixth cartel survey in the financial sector since 2013 and are in the third phase of our forex spot trading market,” said Marguerite Vestager, head of EU antitrust law, in a statement. It’s finished. “

The Barclays logo seen in front of the displayed stock price graph
On June 21, 2017, the Barclays logo will appear in front of the stock price graph displayed. (Dado Ruvic / Reuters)

She said the collusion of the five banks would undermine the integrity of the financial sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers.

Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, MUFG, RBS will operate the foreign exchange market in two cartels from 2007 to 2013 and 2009 to 2012 by one group from EU antitrust authorities in May 2019. He was fined a total of € 1.07 billion. other.

($ 1 = 0.8828 euros)

Hu Yun Qi