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Banks fined billions by UK regulator

Five international banks have been issued with penalties of more than £1 billion for failures in their respective UK-based FX trading businesses.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued fines to Citibank (£225,575,000), HSBC Bank (£216,363,000), JPMorgan Chase Bank (£222,166,000), The Royal Bank of Scotland (£217,000,000) and UBS AG (£233,814,000) after an investigation found deficiencies in their foreign exchange trading operations, according to an FCA statement.

“The G10 spot FX market is a systemically important financial market,” the statement said.

“At the heart of today’s action is our finding that the failings at these banks undermine confidence in the UK financial system and put its integrity at risk.”

The statement also revealed that a sixth bank, Barclays, is under investigation for potential problems with its G10 spot FX trading business.

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In response to the failures uncovered by the surveillance, the FCA is launching an "industry-wide remediation program to ensure firms address the root causes of these failings and drive up standards across the market”.

“The FCA does not tolerate conduct which imperils market integrity or the wider UK financial system,” said FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley.

“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 fines are the largest ever handed down by the British regulator.

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