EU fines banks over $1 billion over foreign exchange cartel

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union regulators have fined five banks a total of more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) for allegedly colluding in the trade of large sums of foreign currency.

The EU Commission said Thursday that investigators found that some bank employees in charge of spot trading in 11 currencies "exchanged sensitive information and trading plans." They sometimes coordinated strategies through online professional chat rooms.

The commission fined Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup and JPMorgan over 811 million euros ($909 million) for collaborating in a foreign exchange spot trading cartel dubbed "Forex - Three Way Banana Split."

It also fined Barclays, RBS and MUFG Bank over 257 million euros ($288 million) for a separate cartel.

UBS escaped fines for revealing the cartels.