RBS says FX fine fully covered by NatWest Markets’ existing provisions

Maria Nikolova

RBS, together with NatWest Markets, have been fined a total of EUR 249.2 million over participation in an FX cartel.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS) has published a comment following the announcement by the European Commission from earlier today about fines on banks alleged to have participated in a Forex cartel.

Two settlements have been reached with RBS, NatWest Markets and other named financial institutions, in relation to the Commission’s investigation of historic competition law breaches concerning FX trading. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc and NatWest Markets have been fined a total of EUR 249,214,000 relating to conduct which took place in two groups of chatrooms in periods between December 2007 and November 2011.

The aggregate fine is fully covered by existing provisions in NatWest Markets, RBS explains.

The Group notes that NatWest Markets is co-operating with investigations and responding to inquiries from other governmental and regulatory (including competition) authorities on similar issues relating to past failings in FX trading. The timing and amount of future financial penalties, related litigation risks and collateral consequences, however, remain uncertain and may be material.

Earlier today, the European Commission announced the imposition of EUR 1.07 billion fine on five banks, including RBS. The fine stemmed from two decisions – both involved RBS.

The first decision (so-called “Forex – Three Way Banana Split” cartel) imposes a total fine of €811.2 million on Barclays, RBS, Citigroup and JPMorgan.

The second decision (so-called “Forex-Essex Express” cartel) imposes a total fine of €257.7 million on Barclays, RBS and MUFG Bank.

The Three Way Banana Split infringement encompasses communications in three different, consecutive chatrooms (“Three way banana split / Two and a half men / Only Marge”) among traders from UBS, Barclays, RBS, Citigroup and JPMorgan. The infringement started on 18 December 2007 and ended on 31 January 2013.

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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