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Release Date: 11th November 2014

To access the original FCA document, click here.


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has levied substantial fines totalling £1.1 billion against five prominent banks for inadequate controls in their G10 spot foreign exchange (FX) trading operations. The banks penalised include Citibank N.A., HSBC Bank Plc, JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, and UBS AG. These fines mark the largest ever imposed by the FCA and highlight serious systemic failings that compromised the integrity of the UK financial system.

These failings primarily revolved around the banks’ inability to prevent their traders from misusing confidential client information and colluding with traders from other banks to manipulate FX benchmark rates. This misconduct not only disadvantaged their clients but also eroded trust in the UK’s financial markets. The period under scrutiny extended from 1 January 2008 to 15 October 2013, during which traders prioritised personal and corporate profits over the ethical handling of client interests and market fairness.

In response to these violations, the FCA has initiated an industry-wide remediation programme to address the root causes of these failings and to enhance overall market standards. This programme mandates significant managerial oversight and reforms to ensure such breaches of conduct are not repeated.

Key Takeaways for Other Firms:

The FCA’s actions and the subsequent penalties imposed not only serve as a warning to other financial institutions but also underscore the regulator’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the financial markets through rigorous enforcement and the implementation of corrective measures.

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