European Commission Accuses U.K. Firm in Rate-Rigging

By Kanter, James | International New York Times, June 11, 2014 | Go to article overview

European Commission Accuses U.K. Firm in Rate-Rigging


Kanter, James, International New York Times


The executive arm of the European Union formally accused the British financial firm ICAP of colluding to try to fix a benchmark interest rate tied to the yen.

The European Commission on Tuesday formally accused the British financial firm ICAP of collusion, saying it tried to fix a benchmark interest rate tied to the yen.

The move is part of continuing efforts by regulators to punish banks and brokers that they say participated in rigging the rates that help determine the borrowing costs for trillions of dollars in loans, credit cards and mortgages.

"The commission has concerns that ICAP may have been involved in cartels concerning yen interest rate derivatives as a facilitator," the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, said in a statement. The brokerage firm "may have breached E.U. antitrust rules by facilitating several cartel infringements," it said.

On Tuesday, ICAP said that it "does not believe that it has breached any applicable E.U. competition law" and that it "will defend itself against these allegations vigorously."

In December, the European Commission fined a group of global financial institutions a combined 1.7 billion euros, or $2.3 billion, to settle charges that they improperly influenced the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, as it relates to the Japanese yen, and the euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor.

That was the largest combined penalty ever levied by the European competition authorities. …

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