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EU fines global banks $2.3bn for market rigging

Amsterdam: The European Commission has fined a group of major global banks a total of 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) for colluding to profit from the manipulation of key interest rates.

The banks, which include JP Morgan, Citigroup and HSBC, are accused of manipulating for years European and Japanese benchmark interest rates that affect hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts globally, from mortgages to credit card bills.

The banks named as participating in cartels were Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, HSBC, JPMorgan, UBS and Citigroup.

The largest fines went to RBS and Deutsche Bank, 260 million euros each, while UBS received immunity from a staggering 2.5 billion-euro fine for revealing the existence of the cartel.

Chairman Philip Hampton said the bank’s management became aware some of its employees had been helping fix rates in 2011 and has taken action to prevent it happening again.

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