EU accuses 3 banks of market fixing

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Commission's top competition regulator has accused JPMorgan, HSBC and Credit Agricole of colluding to manipulate the price of financial products — "derivatives" — linked to interest rates.

Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Tuesday the banks will now have a chance to respond to his preliminary findings. If the Commission ultimately concludes they have broken the law, it can impose a maximum fine of up to 10 percent of their annual turnover.

In December 2013, the Commission levied fines totaling 1.04 billion euros ($1.42 billion) on Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Societe Generale as part of the same case, which covers 2005-2008. They were granted a reduction in their fine for cooperating in a settlement.