Brazil’s Watchdog Settles Antitrust Case With Citibank, Société Général

Brazil’s antitrust watchdog, CADE, said it had reached an agreement with the Brazilian units of Citibank and Société Générale to settle a case related to an exchange rate manipulation investigation dating back nearly a decade.

Citibank has committed to paying 71.6 million reais ($13.78 million), while Société will pay 5.57 million reais ($1.07 million) after the regulator doubled down on evidence dating back to 2016 of the banks fixing the price of their currency spreads, and coordinating the purchase and sale of currencies involving the Brazilian real in order to increase their profits through currency exchanges.

Related: Brazil Watchdog Fines Citibank, Société Générale For Currency Manipulation

Citigroup said in a statement that the settlement does not constitute a fine, nor is it an admission of wrongdoing by the bank or any affiliates, while CADE itself would not press further with the accusation. It added that the settlement shall not, according to law, be mistaken with any ruling or merits of the case.

Brazil is among the world’s largest ForEx markets, and the South American giant has had frequent run-ins with banks attempting to game the system. A wide-ranging investigation in 2015 resulted in charges against 15 of the world’s largest banks, accused of influencing benchmark currency rates in Brazil by aligning positions and pushing transactions in a way that deterred competitors from the market between 2007 and 2013, 

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