Some of the key points in the Forex rigging scandal.Read the full story ›
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom has called the foreign exchange rigging scandal "disgusting."
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, she said:
Every taxpayer will be completely horrified to see that throughout that period of the financial crisis where taxpayers were bailing out the financial system, there was still a group of foreign exchange traders, and other traders, who decided they would rig the system to suit their bonuses - and that is absolutely disgusting.
I do not know if corruption is a strong enough word for it.
The transcripts show many examples of employees at several banks discussing how to rig the Forex rates in private chat rooms.
In this example, a group of traders from a British bank share information prior to the 4pm 'fix' and discuss their actions, congratulating each other.
And in this exchange, some traders from a different banking group share "ammo" to enable each other to maximise their returns.
The Financial Conduct Authority said traders at different banks formed tight-knit groups to share information about client activity, including using code names to identify clients without naming them.
Names given to these groups included "the players", "the 3 musketeers", "1 team, 1 dream", "a co-operative" and "the A-team". Traders shared the information obtained through these groups to help them work out their trading strategies.
The Royal Bank of Scotland has said it is reviewing the conduct of over 50 current and former trading employees globally, as well as "dozens" of supervisors and senior management executives.
So far six individuals have been placed into the disciplinary process, RBS also said.
RBS Chairman Sir Philip Hampton said:
The RBS board fully accepts the criticisms within today's announcements and condemns the actions of those employees responsible for this misconduct.
Today is a stark reminder of the importance of culture and integrity in banking and we will rightly be judged on the strength of our response."
Five banks, including RBS, have been issued fines by the Financial Conduct Authority over the foreign exchange (Forex) rigging scandal for "failing to control business practices".
George Osborne said Britain has been taking "tough action to clean up corruption by a few so that we have a financial system that works for everyone".
George Osborne said Britain's regulatory response to the financial crisis meant "the world can have confidence in the integrity of Britain's financial markets."
Mr Osborne said:
Today we take tough action to clean up corruption by a few so that we have a financial system that works for everyone. It’s part of a long term plan that is fixing what went wrong in Britain’s banks and our economy.
A number of traders have been suspended or fired, and the Serious Fraud Office are conducting criminal investigations. The banks that employed them face big fines - and I will ensure that these fines are used for the wider public good.
The Financial Conduct Authority said today's record fines over the foreign exchange (Forex) rigging scandal "mark the gravity of the failings we found".
FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said in a statement:
The FCA does not tolerate conduct which imperils market integrity or the wider UK financial system.
Today’s record fines mark the gravity of the failings we found and firms need to take responsibility for putting it right.
They must make sure their traders do not game the system to boost profits or leave the ethics of their conduct to compliance to worry about.
The Bank of England has said there is no evidence any of its officials were involved in any "unlawful or improper behaviour" in relation to the foreign exchange market.
The Bank published an independent report by Lord Grabiner QC covering the period 2005-2013, which found that no Bank staff were aware of any improper behaviour by banks caught up in a wide-ranging Forex scandal.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has imposed fines totalling $1.4 billion (£879 million) on five banks over the Forex rigging scandal.
The penalties on the banks were issued as follows:
- Citibank - $310 million
- JPMorgan - $310 million
- RBS - $290 million
- UBS - $290 million
- HSBC - $275 million