London Stock Exchange

British banking stocks are trading relatively flat in the early session despite US and UK authorities collectively fining five banks £2.1bn for their role in currency market manipulation.

Analysts told IBTimes UK that the fines imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are small compared to other costs related to other financial scandals, such as Libor rigging, and traders have already priced in the settlements into the stock price.

"I guess when we look at the size of the individual fines, these are relatively small as a fiscal punitive measure, compared with costs associated with Libor, mis-selling derivatives and payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation," said Alastair McCaig, market analyst IG Index.

"The relaxed attitude from traders is also because regulators have rapidly shifted the focus from institutions to individuals that could be prosecuted."

The FCA fined Citibank $359m (£225.6m, €288m), HSBC $343m, JPMorgan $352m, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) $344m and UBS $371m.

The CFTC issued its own civil monetary penalties, ordering Citibank and JPMorgan to pay $310m each, RBS and UBS $290m each, and UBS $275m.

The FCA said Barclays has not incurred a fine, but remains under investigation over allegations of currency rigging, said the regulator.

The FCA said it will progress its "investigation into Barclays which will cover its G10 spot FX trading business and also wider FX business areas".

The HSBC stock price is down by less than 1% at around 633.20p while RBS is up 0.64% at 380.00p.

Barclays shares are down by 1.39% to around 231.35p, as it is still under investigation, however analysts say that this may just be more of a knee-jerk reaction.

"Barclays is the biggest faller but I don't think that (it still being under investigation) is as bad as everyone thinks," said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital.

"Many traders have priced in litigation costs for all the banking stocks and the Barclays stock price fall was probably just a knee-jerk reaction sell off but it will likely stabilise shortly."

"In terms of RBS, that's always going to be a funny one as a fine is effectively having the FCA moving government money to another government body (because RBS is 81% state owned)."