Europe hands out hefty fines to global banks

Kate McCann
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THE EUROPEAN Commission is set to impose heavy fines on a number of global banks including Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and RBS later this morning, over allegations that they rigged key interest rate benchmarks.

The fines could break European antitrust enforcement records and run to several hundred million euros each, based on the level of involvement in rate manipulation and each bank’s cooperation with the EU investigation.

Some banks have already admitted wrongdoing over claims that they fixed Euribor, Yen Libor or both, and RBS has settled with UK and US authorities over its role in Libor rigging, paying out £390m in fines. Barclays and UBS have been granted immunity from fines as they blew the whistle on the manipulation, according to the EU report.

The benchmarks the banks are accused of fixing are used to price hundreds of trillions of dollars in assets, from mortgages to derivatives. Other banks involved include: JP Morgan, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and HSBC.

So far RBS, Barclays, UBS, Rabobank and Icap have been fined $3.7bn (£3.25bn) by authorities around the world for manipulating rates. Seven people face criminal charges.

Antoine Colombani, spokesman for competition policy, could not be reached for comment.