MUFG says FX fine stems from law infringement by ex-employee at London branch

Maria Nikolova

MUFG has confirmed the receipt of a decision from the European Commission requiring MUFG Bank to pay €69.75 million.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (TYO:8306) and its subsidiary MUFG Bank, Ltd. today confirmed the receipt of a decision from the European Commission requiring MUFG Bank to pay €69.75 million.

In its announcement, MUFG explains that the penalty is due to the infringement of European Union competition law by a forex trader formerly employed at MUFG Bank’s London Branch in 2010 and 2011.

MUFG Bank says it takes this issue very seriously. The bank notes it has cooperated fully with the ensuing investigation by the European Commission and has engaged in the settlement procedure. Furthermore, the bank has completed a review of its internal procedures and has bolstered its monitoring framework to prevent the occurrence of similar issues in the future.

In two settlement decisions announced today, the European Commission has fined five banks for taking part in two cartels in the Spot Foreign Exchange market for 11 currencies – Euro, British Pound, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, US, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian Dollars, and Danish, Swedish and Norwegian crowns.

The Commission’s investigation has shown that some individual traders in charge of Forex spot trading of these currencies on behalf of the relevant banks exchanged sensitive information and trading plans, and occasionally coordinated their trading strategies through various online professional chatrooms.

The second decision (so-called “Forex-Essex Express” cartel) imposes a total fine of €257.7 million on Barclays, RBS and MUFG Bank. The Essex Express infringement encompasses communications in two chatrooms (“Essex Express ‘n the Jimmy” and “Semi Grumpy Old men”) among traders from UBS, Barclays, RBS and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (now MUFG Bank). The infringement started on 14 December 2009 and ended on 31 July 2012.

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