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BNP Reaches $90M Settlement on FX Manipulation

Adding to the billions paid by banks that manipulated prices in foreign-currency exchanges, BNP Paribas USA has agreed to a $90 million fine as part of the latest guilty plea.

MANHATTAN (CN) - Adding to the billions paid by banks that manipulated prices in foreign-currency exchanges, BNP Paribas USA has agreed to a $90 million fine as part of the latest guilty plea.

The Justice Department announced the settlement Friday morning, saying BNP became the sixth bank to plead guilty in connection to the investigation.

A one-count information filed Thursday with a federal judge in Manhattan accused BNP of fixing prices in Ceemea currencies, an acronym for Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African.

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays and The Royal Bank of Scotland were the first and biggest to fall, collectively agreeing to pay more than $2.5 billion in 2015.

UBS AG was part of that same plea deal, agreeing to a $203 million criminal penalty for having breached the 2012 nonprosecution agreement that resolved Justice Department’s Libor investigation, short for London interbank offered rate.

Just over a year ago, BNP’s former Ceemea trader Jason Katz ,and Christopher Cummins, a former Ceemea trader from another financial institution, also pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors not that three individuals from other financial institutions – Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani and Christopher Ashton – were indicted , on Jan. 10, 2017, for conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for U.S. dollars and euros.

As detailed in a press release, BNP’s conspiracy involved the bank’s manipulation of prices on an electronic FX trading platform from September 2011 to July 2013, “through the creation of non-bona fide trades, coordination of bids and offers on that platform and agreements on currency prices to quote specific customers, among other conduct.”

Prosecutors say BNP’s guilty plea does not include a probation recommendation because the bank has cooperated on compliance and remediation.

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Categories / Criminal, Financial

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