Citi Could Plead Guilty in DoJ Forex Probe

Dow Jones Newswires

Citigroup Inc. confirmed that it could plead guilty to an antitrust charge as part of a settlement with the Justice Department over accusations that the bank's traders rigged foreign-exchange rates.

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The bank also said, in a regulatory filing Monday, that it is in "active discussions" with the Justice Department over settling the foreign-exchange accusations.

Citigroup and other big banks have been accused of manipulating foreign-exchange trading to their own advantage, sometimes at the expense of clients, and a settlement with the Justice Department had been expected.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Citigroup, as well as Barclays PLC, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group, are expected to plead guilty to criminal antitrust charges as part of any settlement with the Justice Department. This is the first time that Citigroup has acknowledged that it might plead guilty.

Citigroup has previously acknowledged that the Justice Department was looking into its foreign-exchange business. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said last week that it is in "advanced stages" of discussions with the Justice Department and the Federal Reserve over a foreign-exchange settlement.

Citigroup and other banks settled with some British and U.S. regulators in November over similar accusations, with Citigroup paying about $1 billion total to the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the U.S. The banks didn't have to admit guilt in those settlements.