Antoine Gara, 20 May 2015
UBS said on Wednesday morning it would pay a $342 million fine for its involvement in manipulating the foreign exchange market, averting criminal prosecution as a result of its cooperation in the multi-year probe. The Swiss banking giant, however, will plead guilty to one count of wire fraud for its role in manipulating interest rate benchmarks such as LIBOR, paying a $202 million fine, and tearing up a previously agreed 2012 deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. regulators.
The collective $545 million in fines and guilty plea will help UBS put to rest some of its largest legal issues in the United States and won’t have a financial impact given the bank’s exiting provisions for litigation.
UBS’s cooperation in the regulatory probes into foreign exchange market manipulation appears to have helped the bank avert new criminal charges for its trading activity. The Department of Justice will not fine UBS for its FX market activity and it will be given conditional immunity from prosecution by the regulator’s antitrust division.
The DoJ’s antitrust division is expected to announce settlements with banking conglomerates Barclays , Citigroup , JPMorgan Chase and Royal Bank of Scotland , which will lead to billions of dollars in collective fines and criminal guilty pleas on antitrust.