FCA: Banks Use Code Names Like 'The A Team' to Manipulate Foreign Currency Rates

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Some of the world's biggest banks woke up to the news that they were being slapped with record fines and now face possible criminal charges for their roles in a foreign currency exchange scheme.

JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, HSBC, UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland have been fined by American, British and Swiss regulators to the tune of $3.3 billion for conspiring to manipulate the foreign currency markets. Nearly $5.3 trillion is traded each day in foreign currency. And the big banks play a large role in the exchange rates that are set each day. But now, they're accused of rigging those rates for profit.

The Financial Conduct Authority says traders at the banks regularly shared confidential client information and manipulated the rates of 10 major currencies between January 2008 and October 2013. The bankers would use code names such as "the players," "the three musketeers," "1 team," "1 dream," "a co-operative" and "the A-team."