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EU: Vestager fines three banks $520 million over rate market rigging

 |  December 7, 2016

European Union regulators on Wednesday fined banks JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and Credit Agricole a combined $520 million for colluding to manipulate the price of financial products linked to interest rates.

EU antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the banks illegally exchanged sensitive information and colluded to make big profits in the market on the specialized financial products.

JPMorgan Chase was fined 337 million euros, France’s Credit Agricole 114 million euros and London-based HSBC 33 million euros.

Three years ago, the antitrust regulators levied about a billion euros in penalties from Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Societe Generale as part of the same case, which covers manipulation of financial contracts linked to a benchmark interest rate called Euribor in the period 2005-2008. Those banks chose to settle, while Wednesday’s decision sought to punish the three holdouts.

“This sends a clear message that banks, like all companies, have to respect EU competition rules,” said Vestager. “Financial markets need to be competitive.”

Full Content: Times Colonist

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