On 9 April 2019, the European Commission published the full text of its decision to fine Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase for participating in a cartel in the euro interest rate derivatives (“EIRD“) sector.
While four of the seven participating banks settled the case with the Commission in December 2013, these three banks did not settle and, following a full investigative procedure, the Commission eventually imposed fines totalling €485 million on the non-settling banks in December 2016. After lengthy proceedings in the European courts over publication of the non-confidential version of the Commission’s decision, the Court of Justice finally determined in March 2019 that the Commission could proceed with publication.
Although the Commission has now published a number of decisions relating to infringements in the financial services sector, this decision provides further useful insight into the Commission’s approach to coordination of behaviour and exchange of information in the context of trading in derivatives and, by extension, other financial products. It also serves as a reminder that infringing conduct by a small number of employees for a short period of time can have significant financial consequences; regular and targeted compliance training and monitoring which specifically addresses the risks that can arise in a trading context may help to reduce the likelihood of these risks materialising.
Read the full briefing here.