EU fines banks UBS, Barclays, RBS, HSBC and Credit Suisse for violating competition rules

The European Union (EU) announced on Thursday a fine of 344 million euros (about 390 million dollars) to five large banks for violation of competition rules in exchange activities.

These are the banks UBS, Barclays, RBS, HSBC and Credit Suisse, as part of the third phase of an EU investigation on the coordination of the main banks operating in Europe for foreign exchange operations of the main currencies.

The European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, told a press conference that the sanctions are an expression of the “strong will” of the European Commission “to ensure that the financial sector is healthy and competitive.”

The coordination of the five banks for their foreign exchange operations “has undermined the integrity of the financial sector to the detriment of the European economy and consumers.”

For having disclosed the understanding to the European Commission, the Swiss bank UBS benefited from full immunity that allowed it to escape a fine of 94 million euros, despite its involvement in fraudulent practices.

Meanwhile, the British banks Barclays, RBS and HSBC have benefited from reductions in their fines for having admitted the facts and collaborated in the investigation.

Credit Suisse, on the other hand, did not cooperate and therefore did not benefit from the reductions provided by the leniency procedures.

Thus, HSBC was fined 174.2 million euros; Barclays received a fine of 54.3 million euros, and Barclays one of 32.4 million. Credit Suisse, meanwhile, one of 83.2 million.

These sanctions take into account the value of the operations carried out by each of the groups in Europe, the level of severity and the duration of the infringements observed.


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