Citigroup Paid 2,500 Times More for FX Rigging Than It Made

Jamie Forese, head of the Citigroup Inc. unit that houses trading and investment banking, said fines the firm paid for rigging foreign-exchange markets dwarfed the amount generated by the illegal conduct.

Revenue from the trades amounted to about $1 million, while Citigroup paid out $2.5 billion in fines and penalties, Forese estimated Wednesday at an investor conference in New York.

“The misconduct of some of our employees has been hugely painful to the institution and to shareholders,” Forese said. “We are spending a lot of time on improving the conduct of our employees.”

The bank agreed to pay $925 million last month and pleaded guilty with its Citicorp unit to U.S. charges brought in a probe of the lender’s manipulations of the currency markets. In November, the company agreed to pay $1.02 billion to three regulators in the U.S. and U.K. over the same activity.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat, who had his compensation docked because of the currency probes, has waged an internal battle to instill stronger ethics among employees, vowing to punish workers who run afoul of the firm’s code of conduct.

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