(Adds details on Cade's probes into currency rigging by more
SAO PAULO Dec 8 Brazilian antitrust watchdog
Cade said it has fined five international banks a combined 183.5
million reais ($54 million) as part of a settlement of charges
they rigged the country's currency market.
In a statement late on Wednesday, Cade said it signed an
accord with Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Deutsche
Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan
Chase & Co. The watchdog said it will continue a probe
of potential currency market violations involving other banks.
In July 2015, Cade accused a total of 15 banks of colluding
to influence benchmark currency rates in Brazil by aligning
positions and pushing transactions in a way that deterred
competitors from the market between 2007 and 2013.
Deutsche Bank and Barclays declined to comment on the
settlement. Media representatives for JPMorgan, Citigroup and
HSBC did not immediately comment.
According to Cade's statement, the five banks agreed to
admit to anti-competitive practices and cooperate with the
watchdog in revealing how they manipulated exchange rates
published by financial information companies and monetary
Cade's probe alleged that traders from the 15 banks probably
front-ran client orders and pushed through trades that affected
the way benchmarks like Brazil's PTax and WM/Reuters rates were
set. They might have also colluded to fix spreads on client
trades, unveil spot and future trades that should have been kept
confidential and even deal flow volume data, it said.
The watchdog plans to open a separate probe into possible
collusion and currency rate-manipulation across several
exchanges by some banks and other firms.
The investigations are offshoots of a five-year probe by the
U.S. Department of Justice, which was paid $5.8 billion by some
of the world's largest banks to settle charges of currency
rigging. Five of those banks, which are being probed by Cade,
pleaded guilty as a result of the U.S.
(Reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal,
Lisa Von Ahn and Paul Simao)