EU to fine banks €1.7B for manipulating interest rates

|By:, SA News Editor

The EU Commission will reportedly fine a group of leading multinational banks €1.7B for rigging inter-bank interest rates in what would be the largest antitrust penalty that the commission has ever levied.

The banks to be fined include all the old favorites - Citigroup (C), Deutsche Bank (DB), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), JPMorgan (JPM) and Barclays (BCS), as well as Societe Generale (SCGLF).

The banks have admitted liability in return for a 10% reduction in their punishment.

However, HSBC (HSBC) and Credit Agricole (CRARF) are contesting the proposed sanctions from the EU and are set to be formally charged today.

UBS (UBS), which paid $1.5B to U.S. and U.K. authorities for similar sins, is escaping a penalty, as it alerted the EU to the Libor and Tibor cases.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia is due to announce the penalties at a press conference at 5:30 ET.