US Department of Justice

US Department of Justice

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice charged three former FX-traders for Barclays, Citigroup and two other large banks as part of its probe into foreign currency market manipulation.

The former executives allegedly coordinated their trading with each other in an online chat room while working for affiliates of those banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC. The four banks agreed last year to pay about $2.5 billion in U.S. criminal fines as a result of the investigation.

According to the indictment, Christopher Ashton, a former head trader in London for Barclays, and ex-managing directors Richard Usher, who traded for RBC and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Rohan Ramchandani, who traded for Citi, were part of a group dubbed “The Cartel” that coordinated trades to affect daily benchmarks, known as fix rates, on the foreign currency exchange spot markets.