THE PUBLIC is “seething with anger” at the banks and people should be brought to book for their actions, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.
Five banks which employed traders who clubbed together to rig foreign exchange (forex) rates were fined more than £2 billion yesterday.
Mr Clegg said it had not yet been decided what the Government would do with the £1.1 billion of fines levied by the UK regulator.
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Regulators discovered that some of the manipulation of the £3 trillion-a-day forex market was taking place even as the banks were being probed over a previous scandal over interbank lending rate Libor.
Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase and UBS were handed the £1.1 billion penalty by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and fines totalling 1.5 billion US dollars (£927 million) by US authorities.
Mr Clegg told LBC Radio that the Serious Fraud Office was also investigating and he hoped that anyone involved in criminal activity would face justice.
He said: “The Serious Fraud Office ... need to look at this. And they are. And I hope they will bring people to book and I hope people will be brought to justice.”
He added: “People are seething with anger that they’re having to endure cuts and savings for year after year after year because of not only irresponsible, in some cases ... possibly criminal behaviour by bankers.”
Asked what would be done with the fines, Mr Clegg said: “I think the figure is just over a billion pounds that comes to the Treasury because of these fines related to the foreign exchange scandal. And we will make a decision as a Government what to do with that money.”
Fines from the banks over the rigging of the Libor rate have been used to support military charities and other good causes.
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