Eu accuses eight banks for collusion in government bonds
Brussels has accused eight unnamed banks of colluding to game the €7tn market for eurozone government bonds, marking another escalation in the EU’s drive to punish financial institutions for rigging financial markets.
EU antitrust authorities have sent a formal charge sheet alleging that traders employed by the eight lenders exchanged information and co-ordinated trading strategies for euro-denominated bonds intermittently between 2007 and 2012.
The price rigging was not bank-wide but involved specific traders at various lenders who in some cases moved between institutions during the period, they said.
Over time the alleged collusion involved roughly a third of the banks in the primary eurobond market. The traders mainly used online chat rooms when they “exchanged commercially sensitive information and co-ordinated on trading strategies” to engage in “a collusive scheme that aimed at distorting competition”, the EU authorities said.