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Record Year for Bank Fines in United States

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In a report from CNN Money, banks were fined a record $10.7 billion in 2012. The fine that broke the record came earlier in December when UBS agreed to pay United States authorities $1.2 billion for manipulating Libor. The total amount of fines only accounts for money paid to U.S. and state authorities by banks, not money paid to European regulators.

Just over half of the fines were for improper mortgage practices and the majority of the money paid was set aside to help victims of those practices.

  
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Over half of the fines, just over $5 billion, were deposited into government coffers, most of them into the United States Treasury’s general fund.  Some of those fines included $3.2 billion that ING, HSBC and Standard Chartered paid because of money laundering violations for transactions they performed with countries such as Iran and Cuba.

That money also included $1.56 billion in United States fines that were paid by UBS and Barclays for manipulating Libor. More of those fines included $335 million that Deutsche Bank and Flagstar paid for selling mortgages without announcing the risks for borrowers.

For the most part, the incidents occurred prior to 2012 and no penalties have been handed out on violations that took place this year. For example, no penalties have been handed out for the $5.8 billion trading loss that JPMorgan Chase endured.

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