Wednesday 4 February 2015 8:14 pm

First Libor rate-fixing battle as Icap rejects EU’s €15m fine

Brokerage Icap has become the first City institution to challenge a fine for attempted Libor manipulation, yesterday vowing to battle the European Commission. The EC issued the firm with a €14.9m (£11.2m) fine, arguing that Icap broke competition rules “by facilitating several cartels in the sector of yen interest rate derivatives.” Icap was fined £54m in 2013 by US and UK regulators after some of its former staff helped bank traders try to fiddle the key interbank interest rate benchmark. Chief executive Michael Spencer apologised at the time. However, this time the interdealer broker believes it has no case to answer, and that there is no evidence against it. “Icap does not accept the EC’s decision, which it believes is wrong both in fact and in law. This is a regulatory matter that has already been settled,” the firm said in a statement. “It is not a competition issue, and the EC has presented no evidence that Icap facilitated a competition law violation. Icap will be challenging this decision at appeal in the European Courts.”