These are good times for shareholders in major American banks.

After the difficult Corona year, many prices have shot up again.

The fact that this is only a snapshot of the capital markets and the positive side of the financial sector is shown by the unimaginable amount of fines that the Anglo-American banks in particular were charged by the financial and stock exchange supervisory authorities and judicial authorities for violating their rules: more than 333 billion dollars the financial industry has been paying since 2000, shows a long-term analysis by the US organization Good Jobs First.

For this purpose, the information was evaluated by numerous supervisory authorities and the American Department of Justice (DoJ) with a digital tool, the so-called Violation Tracker.

Marcus Jung

Editor in business.

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At the top of the banks with the highest fines are Bank of America (BoA), JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, three major US banks that have hardly missed a financial scandal in the past two decades. With a total of $ 82.92 billion, BoA not only distanced the rest of the industry - JP Morgan and Citigroup follow with 35.9 billion and 25.5 billion respectively.

With 251 reported violations of financial market and supervisory rules, BoA also has the largest number of incidents. The bank played a central role in the global financial crisis because it sold toxic mortgage securities to investors, which contributed significantly to the subprime crisis. The $ 16.6 billion settlement payment to the US Department of Justice and the authorities of several states is also the highest single fine since the long-term evaluation of Good Jobs First began. In 2013, JP Morgan had to pay more than $ 13 billion on similar allegations. In 2008, the Swiss investment bank UBS had to pay around $ 11.2 billion for misrepresenting auction bonds.

The financial crisis and its legal processing by the authorities and the judiciary represent the largest complex of fines: The first 50 places of the well over 6300 cases evaluated took place from 2008 onwards.

This proves once again how incomplete the number of checks carried out by the credit institutions, particularly with regard to equity capital and compliance, were before the financial crisis.

And it makes it clear that with the stricter regulation of the banking and finance industry in the period that followed, many grievances were uncovered and punished.

Deutsche Bank and trouble with justice 

With Deutsche Bank (18.3 billion dollars), UBS (16.9 billion dollars) and Credit Suisse (10.5 billion dollars), three major European banks were also fined for numerous irregularities. In the case of Deutsche Bank, the highest fines were also related to toxic securities trading. Most often, however, the major German bank had to answer to American authorities for violations of investor protection. On the other hand, there were only two fines of $ 466 million for the topic of money laundering, which was also the focus of the supervisory authorities.

Germany and Europe are still far from fines of this “American” order of magnitude. One outlier is the discovery by the EU Commission of illegal agreements on the Libor and Euribor reference rates; A group of international banks including Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Société Générale and RSB had to pay a fine of 1.71 billion euros. Deutsche Bank accounted for the largest share of around 725 million euros. Most recently, Brussels imposed fines of 371 million euros on the major banks Nomura, UBS and Unicredit in May 2021. The trio and other cartelists are said to have exchanged sensitive data between 2007 and 2011.