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The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority on Wednesday said it has provisionally found that Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Royal Bank of Canada broke competition law by exchanging sensitive information on U.K. government bonds in one-to-one online chats.
The regulator said the conversations in Bloomberg terminal chats and the alleged unlawful behavior took place between 2009 and 2013.
It said a small number of traders who worked at the banks exchanged information, including pricing and aspects of their trading strategies, on the buying and selling of U.K. government gilts and gilt asset swaps.
“This could have denied taxpayers, pension savers and financial institutions the benefits of full competition for these products, including the minimization of borrowing costs,” Executive Director of Enforcement Michael Grenfell said.
The CMA said Deutsche Bank DB, -0.75% had admitted its participation under the regulator’s leniency policy and will not be fined. It added that Citi C, +0.26% also admitted its involvement in anti-competitive activity and that it applied for leniency during the CMA’s investigation, so any fine it receives will be discounted. ...
The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority said five major banks exchanged sensitive information on U.K. government bonds via online chats.
Slaps on the wrist incoming for some of the actors.