Five of the world’s biggest banks have been fined about million Swiss francs (about 91 million dollars) for undermining competition in foreign exchange trading, Switzerland’s Competition Commission announced on Thursday.
The move by non-EU member, Switzerland, came three weeks after the European Commission, the European Union’s competition watchdog, imposed fines totaling 1.07 billion Euros (1.2 billion dollars) on these banks for cartel behaviour.
According to the Swiss commission, traders of the international banks had communicated in chat rooms to coordinate their actions in markets for 10 currencies, including dollars, Euros, British pounds, yen and francs.
U.S. bank Citigroup received the highest Swiss fine of 28.5 million francs, followed by Britain-based Barclays with 27 million francs and the Royal Bank of Scotland with 22.5 million francs.
Lesser punishments were handed down to U.S. bank, JP Morgan, (9.5 million francs) and to Japan’s MUFJ (1.5 million francs).
Major Swiss bank, UBS, was also involved in the two cartels, named “Three way banana split’’ and “Essex Express,’’ which operated from 2007 to 2013 and from 2009 to 2012, respectively.
However, UBS was not fined because it notified authorities of the cartels.
The commission said that investigations against UBS’s main Swiss rival, Credit Suisse, are ongoing.