The European Commission has fined Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Agricole and Credit Suisse 28 million euros for exchanging information to influence the negotiation of bonds in US dollars, under a cartel in which Deutsche Bank also participated, although it has not been sanctioned in exchange for denouncing the pact.
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“The behavior of these banks has limited competition in a market in which investment and pension funds regularly buy and sell bonds for the accounts of their investors or suppliers,” criticized in a statement the Vice President of the European Commission responsible Competition, Margrethe Vestager.
The operators of these four banks maintained regular contacts to exchange sensitive information about their negotiation strategies and prices to coordinate, as detailed by the Community Executive, which specifies that the cartel took place in the secondary market of supergovernmental, sovereign and government bonds. agencies (SSA) in US dollars.
Bank of America Merril Lynch will have to pay the highest penalty, 12.6 million euros; followed by Credit Suisse, written off with 11.8 million and Credit Agricole, with 3.9 million euros.
However, the most important fine was foreseen for Deutsche Bank, which has finally been exonerated by Brussels from facing the payment of 21.5 million euros for having cooperated in the investigation and revealed the details of the cartel.
With their investigation, the community services were able to verify how, in addition to agreeing on the prices they offered to customers in the general market, these entities coordinated to avoid presenting or withdrawing certain purchase or sale offers so as not to compete among themselves and also to distribute the negotiation with a client without the latter knowing that he was dealing with more than one operator.