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EU Commission

EU Commission fines firms in global interest rate rigging scandal

The European Commission has taken a stand in the Global interest rate rigging scandal, fining several of the world’s leading financial institutions for cartel behaviour.


Seven of the fined firms, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan, Société Générale and RP Martin, were fined for 1.7 billion euro. The companies have been accused of conspiring to fix the rates at which banks would lend to each other, either in euros (the Euribor rate) or yen (yen Libor, priced in London), or both. Brussels has also been probing the Tokyo rate known as Tibor


Two of the companies, Barclays and UBS, were excused their financial penalties for revealing the cartels' existence. If these settlement decisions are not challenged, it will be the biggest fine for cartel behaviour by the Commission to date.


Anti-cartel enforcement in the financial sector is a top priority for the Commission, and the decision thus shows that the Commission is determined to take a stand and show that these types of behaviour are contrary to the EU competition rules.


Other financial institutions which refused to settle are still being investigated. According to the European Competition Commissioner Jaquín Almunia, speaking to the press after addressing a conference in Paris this week, the chances are that the Commission will fine several of these in the near future.


The settlements are the eighth and ninth settlement decision since the settlement procedure was introduced in 2008. The procedure, which is based on Regulation 1/2003, allows for a simplified procedure under which undertakings that have participated in a cartel acknowledged their participation and their liability. The simplified procedure thereby shortens down the length of an elsewise lengthy antitrust investigation procedure, saves resources, and eases the workload of the Commission.


For further information see http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1208_en.htm"