Information published by the Wall Street Journal suggests that four major global financial institutions are likely to plead guilty of manipulating the foreign exchange market. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has been building a solid case for criminal offense conducted by Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan and RBS.
Sources cited in the WSJ report suggest that the prosecutors are likely to announce billions in settlements with the above mentioned institutions pleading guilty to criminal antitrust charges. This is a different breed of settlement for major financial institutions, as when it comes to regulatory charges they usually do not admit to any wrongdoing.
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The DoJ has been building a solid case with evidence supporting a criminal case. At the center of the information collected by prosecutors is data from Swiss bank UBS. It is likely to receive immunity since it was the first institution to actively cooperate with authorities, providing them with information about the fraudulent practices used by major banks to rig the currency market.
The Swiss bank has acted in a similar way in the LIBOR cases, when it was the first to decide to supply authorities with information.
On a separate note, sources close to the investigations cited in the WSJ report say that individual criminal cases against traders are not likely to be raised by the prosecutors.