These fines close the third part of an investigation carried out since 2013 and which had already given rise to 1.07 billion euros in fines in 2019. This investigation revealed that traders responsible for spot foreign exchange transactions on certain currencies , acting on behalf of sanctioned banks, coordinated their negotiation strategies.

"Our cartel decisions (...) are a clear reminder that the Commission has the firm will to ensure that the financial sector is healthy and competitive," said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, quoted in a communicated.

The collusion of the five banks "has undermined the integrity of the financial sector to the detriment of the European economy and consumers", she stressed.

The settlement of the case was settled with four of the five groups involved.

For having disclosed the matter to the European Commission, the Swiss bank UBS benefited from a total immunity which allowed it to escape a 94 million euros fine despite its involvement in fraudulent practices.

The three British establishments Barclays, RBS and HSBC have benefited from reductions in their fines for having admitted the facts and having collaborated in the investigation.

Their financial penalties amount respectively to 54.3 million euros, 32.5 million euros and 174.3 million euros.

Credit Suisse, on the other hand, did not cooperate, and therefore did not benefit from the reductions provided for by the leniency procedures.

She was fined 83.3 million euros.

These penalties take into account the value of sales made by each of the groups in Europe, the degree of gravity and the duration of the violations observed.

© 2021 AFP

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