The credit ratings of seven large banks could be at risk if a probe by Mexico’s antitrust watchdog found them guilty of market manipulation and collusion in the government bond market, ratings agency Moody’s stated on Wednesday, October 16.
That watchdog, Mexico’s Federal Commission for Economic Competition (Cofece), stated earlier this week that it had concluded an investigation into the alleged bond market transgressions. Any banks implicated would face sanctions and fines if found guilty, it stated.
Cofece did not name the banks. But Moody’s identified them as Banco JP Morgan in Mexico, Banco Santander Mexico, Bank of America Mexico, Barclays Bank Mexico, BBVA Bancomer, Citibanamex, and Deutsche Bank Mexico.
With the exception of Deutsche Bank Mexico, all banks mentioned by Moody’s are authorized by the government as market makers, according to a finance ministry document dated July 2019.
Banamex, Barclays, and JP Morgan declined to comment. Santander earlier this week stated it would cooperate with authorities.
Cofece stated its investigation was the largest into public debt sales and reflected the Mexican government’s efforts to increase market oversight.
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