Antitrust: Commission amends and re-adopts decisions in the Euro Interest Rate Derivatives cartel

Daily News 28 / 06 / 2021


Economy - published on 29 June 2021


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Source: European Commission Spokesperson’s Service

The European Commission has today adopted two decisions concerning the Euro Interest Rate Derivatives (EIRD) cartel. Following the 2019 partial annulment by the General Court of its
2016 decision, the European Commission has today re-adopted its prohibition decision against HSBC. The European Commission has now imposed total fines of €31.739 million on HSBC Holdings plc,
HSBC Bank plc and HSBC France
(now called HSBC Continental Europe).

Interest rate derivatives are financial products used by banks or companies to manage the risk of interest rate fluctuations or for speculation. They derive their value from the level of a
benchmark interest rate, such as the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) and/or the Euro Over-Night Index Average (EONIA) for EIRD.

In December
2016
, the Commission adopted a decision
imposing fines on HSBC, and two other undertakings, Crédit Agricole and JPMorgan Chase, for their participation in the cartel. In September 2019, the General Court confirmed HSBC’s participation in
the cartel but annulled the fine for insufficient reasoning. Today’s decision explains in further detail how this fine was calculated. For the same reason, the Commission today adopted another
decision amending the 2016 decision against Crédit Agricole (Crédit Agricole SA and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank) and JPMorgan Chase (JPMorgan Chase & Co., JPMorgan Chase Bank,
National Association and J.P.Morgan Service LLP).

This decision aims at correcting the same irregularity (lack of sufficient reasoning of the fines imposed) identified by the General Court in the HSBC decision, pending the General Court’s
judgement in these two appeals. The decisions are in line with the Commission’s policy of pursuing an effective and deterrent enforcement against cartels. The decisions will be made available
under case number 39914 in the public case register
on the Commission’s competition website.

More information on the Commission’s action against cartels is available in the cartels
section
of the competition website.

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