According to Britain’s antitrust agency, traders from five major banks shared sensitive information about UK bonds through chatrooms following the 2008 financial crisis. This may result in fines for some of the involved lenders.
According to the Competition and Markets Authority’s provisional findings, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings, Morgan Stanley, and Royal Bank of Canada allegedly shared confidential information on pricing and trading strategies in chatrooms between 2009 and 2013.
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Deutsche Bank was the first to report its involvement and will not face a fine. Citi will receive a discounted penalty after both banks admitted to collusion.
The watchdog stated that sharing sensitive information with competitors could have prevented full competition benefits for any parties involved, including pension funds and ultimately UK taxpayers, on the part of the banks.
HSBC, Morgan Stanley, and Royal Bank of Canada have not acknowledged any misconduct. It is premature to assume that any of the banks have violated the law. The regulator may impose penalties after reaching a final decision.