France’s third largest bank Credit Agricole is reportedly fight back against the European Commission for what it considers a bias in the regulator’s investigation of alleged Euribor manipulation.
According to two unnamed sources, Credit Agricole sent a letter to the Commission accusing its Commissioner Joaquin Almunia and the rest of the competition team of impeding the bank’s right to present a defense because the authority had already declared the banks accused in the case a cartel.
Credit Agricole was one of three lenders to deny a settlement with the Commission, which ultimately fined three other banks – RBS, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale – a total of about $1.4 billion. Barclays was not fined under the Commission’s leniency program.
One expert told reporters that Credit Agricole’s claims of bias could be used as one of its grounds for appealing the Commission official complaint, sent to the banks last week. The statement of objections were sent to JPMorgan Chase and HSBC in addition to Credit Agricole.
According to sources, however, Credit Agricole’s accusatory letter was likely sent before the statement of objections was sent to the lender.
Spokespeople for the bank and for EU regulators declined to comment on the matter.
Full content: Businessweek
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