FOREIGN EXCHANGE | Staff Reporter, Korea

Korea slaps $600,000 fine on 4 global banks over forex rigging

JP Morgan Chase faced the highest penalty of $223,000.

Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) slapped a penalty on four global banks including JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Charter for illegal information sharing and conspiring in price bids to win foreign exchange derivatives contracts from five local firms, reports The Korea Times.

In total, the four banks will have to shell out over $600,000 (KRW693m), the regulatory body revealed.

JP Morgan Chase garnered the biggest fine amounting to $223,000 (KRW251m). Meanwhile, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Charter will have to pay fines worth $200,000 (KRW225m), $188,000 (KRW$212m), and $4,000 (KRW5m), respectively.

The FTC investigation revealed that from March 2010 to February 2012, the four banks conspired seven times to sell currency contracts to five unnamed corporate clients. The regulator claimed that the banks offered the same price to companies seeking to manage their contracts in equal volume in a bid to avoid competition and worked together to ensure that one lender will nab contracts should clients opt to work with only one bank.

Korea’s antitrust regulator expects that the measures against the four banks will restore order back into the market and affect how companies deal with currency derivatives for risk management through fair competition. 

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