ECJ confirms HSBC rigged Euribor but bank avoids £30m fine
The European Court of Justice confirmed that HSBC rigged the Euribor rate, but confirmed that HSBC would not pay a £30m (€33.6m) fine.
In a ruling released today, the ECJ dismissed HSBC’s “action challenging the finding that it participated in the cartel at issue”.
The European Commission investigated HSBC, Credit Agricole and JP Morgan and, in December 2016, found that the three banks had attempted to distort the Euribor rate between September 2005 and May 2008. The Euribor defines the rate at which European banks can borrow from one another.
The Commission imposed a fine of £29.7m (€33.6m) on HSBC, which appealed the decision, arguing that their role in the cartel was peripheral.
The misconduct dates back to a six-week period in 2007 and involves one HSBC trader who is no longer with the bank, City AM understands.
In September 2019, the General Court of the European Union annulled the fine because “the statement of reasons was insufficient”, but maintained that HSBC had manipulated the Euribor rate. HSBC appealed this decision as well.
While the ECJ upheld the fine annulment, HSBC still faces reputational damage from the confirmation that it was part of the cartel.
European regulators also issued fines to JP Morgan and Credit Agricole, hitting Credit Agricole with a £101.63m (€114.7m) fine and JP Morgan with a £298.78m (€337.2m) fine. Both banks are appealing the penalties.
HSBC is separately challenging a revised fine, issued by the European Commission in 2021, for £28.8m (€31.7m).
HSBC declined to comment.