Published: Fri, December 23, 2016
Medical | By Ismael Lynch

Switzerland Fines Banks for Cartels on Rates, Derivatives

Switzerland Fines Banks for Cartels on Rates, Derivatives

COMCO said it had concluded "that the two worldwide banks JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Scotland operated, between March 2008 and July 2009, a bilateral cartel with the aim of influencing the Swiss franc LIBOR benchmark".

A representative for Societe Generale said "the matters basically included a solitary worker, who left the bank in September 2009, and neither the Swiss COMCO nor the European Commission found that this present worker's administration knew about his activities".

Vincent Martenet, President of Comco, said: "It is a big sanction based on an in-depth investigation".

It marks the latest in a long line of bank penalties for rate-rigging scandals that have come to light since the 2008 global financial crisis. Barclays, a British banking giant, was fined 29.8 million Swiss Francs for the part it played in the cartel which benefited from the rigged rates.

"The cartel aimed at distorting the normal course of pricing components for interest rate derivatives in euro", said Comco.

The COMCO had to deal with and negotiate amicable settlements with several parties in parallel, different undertakings qualified for full immunity, others for a partial reduction of a fine and for some markets, different parties were involved at different times of the specific overall infringement period.

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RBS and Barclays were among another group of banks fined £35.8 million for manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, or Euribor.

The fines, for collusion between 2005 and 2010, totalled CHF99m.

A final probe into the spread on Swiss franc interest rate derivatives resulted in £4.25m of fines, including just £670,000 for RBS, after its penalty was reduced for cooperation with the regulator.

JP Morgan received the largest individual fine, paying SFr33.9 million (£27 million) to settle the investigation into its involvement in...

Interbank lending rates are used to set billions of financial trades and deals worldwide every day, including vehicle loans and mortgages.

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