Traders with nicknames like the “Three Musketeers” and the “A-Team” plotted over Internet chat rooms to manipulate currency markets for years, profiting at the expense of clients – and then congratulating themselves for their brilliance – regulators said Wednesday, as they fined five banks $3.4 billion.
Using profanity-laced banter, the traders co-ordinated their financial positions in the multi-trillion dollar currency market, securing profits for those inside their circles. “YESsssssssssss,” one of them wrote in a chat message. “Yeah baby” and “nice work gents....I don my hat,” wrote others, according to documents of their exchanges.
Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC Bank and UBS agreed to settlements totalling almost $3.4 billion with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The British regulator said Barclays remains under investigation. Read more here.