Reuters | Posted: 12/04/2013 7:01 am EST | Updated: 12/04/2013 9:11 am EST
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators fined six financial institutions including Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup a record total of 1.71 billion euros ($2.3 billion) on Wednesday for rigging financial benchmarks.
The move confirms what a source familiar with the matter had previously told Reuters.
The penalty is the biggest yet to be handed down to banks for rigging the benchmarks used to determine the cost of lending, one of the most brazen violations of conduct since the financial crisis. It is also the highest antitrust penalty ever imposed by the Commission, the EU’s competition regulator.
The other banks penalized are Societe Generale, JPMorgan and brokerage RP Martin.
Deutsche Bank received the biggest fine of 725.36 million euros.
The European Commission said it would continue to investigate Credit Agricole, HSBC, JPMorgan and brokerage ICAP for similar offences.
The benchmarks involved are the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, the Tokyo interbank offered rate and the euro area equivalents. They are used to price hundreds of trillions of dollars in assets ranging from mortgages to derivatives.
“What is shocking about the Libor and Euribor scandals is not only the manipulation of benchmarks, which is being tackled by financial regulators worldwide, but also the collusion between banks who are supposed to be competing with each other,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.