Deutsche bank, Rabobank hit with EU antitrust charge over bond cartel
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE and Rabobank
were charged by EU antitrust regulators on Tuesday of taking part in a government bond cartel, the latest move against a sector which has racked up millions of euros in fines for various competition violations.
The European Commission, which can fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover for antitrust violations, said it had sent a charge sheet known as a statement of objections to the banks.
The EU competition watchdog said the two banks coordinated pricing and trading strategies on euro-denominated sovereign, SSA (supra-sovereign, foreign sovereign, sub-sovereign/agency), covered and government guaranteed bonds between 2005-2016.
It said some of their traders communicated mainly through emails and online chatrooms.
"For effective competition to function, it is fundamental that economic operators determine their prices independently. Citizens need to be able to trust that financial institutions do not implement practices that restrict competition in bonds trading markets," EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
Rabobank said it is cooperating with the Commission and declined further comment. Deutsche Bank said it does not expect any sanction, suggesting that it may have alerted the cartel to the authorities.
"Deutsche Bank has proactively cooperated with the European Commission in this matter and as a result has been granted conditional immunity. In accordance with the European Commission’s guidelines, Deutsche Bank does not expect a financial penalty," the German lender said.
The banks can defend themselves at a closed door hearing and in writing before the Commission makes a final decision.
The EU executive has slapped million-euro fines on about a dozen banks in recent years for rigging benchmark indices and taking part in cartels.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Toby Sterling in Amsterdam and Tom Sims in Frankfurt;
Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.
All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.
Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.