The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority isn't planning individual fines on foreign-exchange traders as the regulator nears settlements with the banks they work for, said two people with knowledge of the discussions.
The watchdog is partly trying to avoid the probe dragging on for as long as the Libor-rigging investigation, in which individual traders are being fined, said one of the people, who didn't want to be identified because the investigation is private.
Regulators and prosecutors on three continents are scrutinizing allegations that dealers at the world's biggest banks traded ahead of their clients and colluded to rig benchmarks that pension funds and money managers use to determine what they pay for foreign currencies. The FCA is in talks with Barclays Plc (BARC), Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG (UBSN), with the aim of reaching settlements by November, Bloomberg News reported in July.
The regulator is seeking to keep the scope of the bank settlements narrow to achieve a quicker resolution, with penalties expected to focus on improper systems and controls, people with knowledge of the situation said then. Lara Joseph, a spokeswoman for the FCA, declined to comment.
The FCA is still pursuing fines against institutions including Deutsche Bank AG over manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, as well as a number of traders, more than two years after it issued its first settlement against Barclays. Nick Bone, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank, declined to comment.
The agency has outlined proposed fines of as much as 10 million pounds ($16.3 million) against some individuals. Traders can appeal penalties to the Regulatory Decisions Committee, an internal FCA advisory panel made up of industry figures including lawyers and accountants.
Some of the traders' Libor fines have been put on hold in recent months after the U.K. Serious Fraud Office asked the FCA to wait while it decides whether it wants to bring more charges, people with knowledge of the matter said last week. The prosecutor is expected to announce more criminal proceedings against some individuals this year, they said.
The SFO opened an investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the FX market in July. The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to file charges as soon as next month against currency traders, people with knowledge of the situation said last week.