EU Commission Charges HSBC, JPMorgan, Credit Agricole With Rigging

   on May 20 2014 7:06 AM
Euro zone
The euro sculpture is partially reflected in a puddle on a cobblestone pavement in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Jan. 21, 2012. Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

(Reuters) - European Union antitrust regulators charged HSBC, JPMorgan and Credit Agricole on Tuesday with rigging financial benchmarks linked to the euro, exposing them to potential fines.

"The (European) Commission has concerns that the three banks may have taken part in a collusive scheme which aimed at distorting the normal course of pricing components for euro interest rate derivatives," the EU competition authority said.

The three banks could face penalties of up to 10 percent of their global turnover if found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules.

In December a record 1.7-billion-euro ($2.3 billion) fine was levied on six banks including Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup for similar offences. The lenders settled their charges and received a 10-percent cut in their fines.

The Commission did not provide details about broker ICAP which is under investigation for suspected rigging of the yen Libor financial benchmark.

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