JPMorgan is preparing to plead guilty over antitrust charges related to the rigging of foreign exchange rates, the bank said in a regulatory filing Thursday.
The revelation comes as JPMorgan and four other big banks reportedly enter final preparations for settlements with U.S. regulators over a widespread currency manipulation scheme involving dozens of bankers.
The other banks reportedly girding themselves for guilty pleas include Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays. UBS, meanwhile, will see its 2012 nonprosecution agreement with the Department of Justice over the Libor scandal torn up as it settles the currency rigging charges, Bloomberg reports.
The Justice Department has lately emphasized its determination to push banks accused of felonies into pleading guilty, a practice the agency has largely shied away from in recent years. Banks that plead guilty to felony charges face a raft of potential regulatory burdens, including bans on overseeing mutual funds and offering securities.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that the banks expecting guilty pleas have been engaged in a flurry of talks with regulators including the Securities and Exchange Commission, to arrange waivers that would allow them to continue doing business as usual.
JPMorgan announced in the filing that negotiations over foreign exchange sales are “nearing conclusion” and that the bank “understands that any resolution acceptable to DOJ would require that the Firm plead guilty to an antitrust charge.”
The Justice Department is expected to announce charges sometime next week.