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Dec. 2, 2021, 6:14 a.m. EST

EU Commission Fines Five Banks for Forex Spot Trading Cartel

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The European Commission said Thursday that it has fined Barclays PLC, UBS Group AG, HSBC Holdings PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Credit Suisse Group AG a total of 344 million euros ($389.6 million) for participating in a foreign-exchange spot trading cartel.

"The Commission's investigation revealed that some traders in charge of the forex spot trading of G10 currencies, acting on behalf of the fined banks, exchanged sensitive information and trading plans, and occasionally coordinated their trading strategies," it said.

UBS, Barclays, RBS and HSBC, which have decided to settle the case, face a total fine of EUR261 million. Credit Suisse has been fined EUR83 million under ordinary procedure, according to the EU.

"Foreign exchange spot trading activities are one of the largest financial markets in the world," said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. "The collusive behaviour of the five banks undermined the integrity of the financial sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers."

Write to Giulia Petroni at giulia.petroni@wsj.com

The European Commission said Thursday that it has fined Barclays PLC, UBS Group AG, HSBC Holdings PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Credit Suisse Group AG a total of 344 million euros ($389.6 million) for participating in a foreign-exchange spot trading cartel.

"The Commission's investigation revealed that some traders in charge of the forex spot trading of G10 currencies, acting on behalf of the fined banks, exchanged sensitive information and trading plans, and occasionally coordinated their trading strategies," it said.

UBS received full immunity for revealing the existence of the cartels, while Barclays, RBS and HSBC, which have too decided to settle the case and benefited from reductions, face a total fine of EUR261 million. Credit Suisse has been fined EUR83 million under ordinary procedure, according to the EU.

"Foreign exchange spot trading activities are one of the largest financial markets in the world," said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. "The collusive behaviour of the five banks undermined the integrity of the financial sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers."

Write to Giulia Petroni at giulia.petroni@wsj.com

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