November 12, 2014 / 3:08 PM / in 3 years

U.S. OCC fines three banks $950 million over forex misconduct

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. bank regulator on Wednesday fined three top banks a total of $950 million for failing to prevent employees’ misconduct in foreign exchange trading.

Signs for the dollar, euro and other currencies are seen at a currency exchange shop in Hong Kong November 1, 2014. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) agreed to pay $250 million, and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) would each pay $350 million.

Regulators said traders from the three banks used online chat rooms to discuss ways to manipulate rates to benefit themselves and share confidential information such as customer orders.

Earlier on Wednesday, a separate group of U.S. and foreign regulators announced $3.4 billion in fines against five banks, including JPMorgan and Citi, over attempts to manipulate the same rate, which is used by asset managers and corporate treasurers to value their holdings.

“Several large banks permitted an environment to develop in which unscrupulous traders discussed manipulating foreign exchange markets,” Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said in a statement.

“Our action today... sends a very strong signal that such misconduct will not be tolerated,” he said.

Bank of America, JPMorgan and Citi neither admitted or denied wrongdoing, according to consent orders with the OCC. The Federal Reserve and the Department of Justice are still investigating banks’ foreign exchange trading activity.

Reporting by Emily Stephenson

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