European Commission charges 13 investment banks, ISDA and Markit in credit default swaps investigation

The European Commission has announced that it is charging some of the world's largest investment banks for breaching EU antitrust rules (release).

The Commission takes the preliminary view that the banks acted collectively to shut out exchanges from the market because they feared that exchange trading would have reduced their revenues from acting as intermediaries in the OTC market.

Commission vice president in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said:

It would be unacceptable if banks collectively blocked exchanges to protect their revenues from over-the-counter trading of credit derivatives. Over-the-counter trading is not only more expensive for investors than exchange trading, it is also prone to systemic risks.

The full list of those charged, following a two year investigation:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS as well as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and data service provider Markit.