Five major banks on Wednesday agreed to plead guilty to felony charges and pay more than $5 billion to resolve allegations that they rigged the U.S. dollar-euro exchange rate.
The fines are historic. But the more perilous consequences for the banks may come as they seek waivers from regulators such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that will allow them to continue as felons to do things like manage pensions and issue securities.
Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with manipulating the price of dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign-exchange spot market. The banks pleaded guilty to a one-count felony charge of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids.