Credit Suisse AG (CS) has agreed to settle currency rigging charges brought by New York’s Department of Financial Services by paying $135M. According to the state regulator, from at least ’08 to ’15, the Zurich-based bank violated NY banking law and engaged in other “unlawful conduct” that “disadvantaged customers.”
The consent order states that Credit Suisse did not put into place controls over its FX business that were “effective.” Also, its traders are accused of the “inappropriate sharing” of information with other banks that could have resulted in exchange rate rigging, coordination of trades, and a rise in the “ bid/ask spreads” that were offered to the bank’s forex customers. The DFS probe said that these actions were geared toward creating more profit for Credit Suisse, while decreasing its losses and harming not just its own customers but the marketplace. Meantime, other banks that it may have colluded with also sought to profit.
Credit Suisse is one of several banks whose traders are accused of gathering in chat rooms to rig currency prices. According to Bloomberg, traders from Barclays PLC (BARC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), and Citigroup (C) are waiting for their trials over allegations that they sought to manipulate currencies. To date, banks accused of currency rigging have paid $5.8M to the US Justice Department to settle charges.