Date: 1st February 2019

The European Union’s antitrust authority has sent a formal statement of objections to eight unnamed banks suspected of operating a cartel in trading euro zone government bonds between 2007 and 2012, in the middle of the financial crisis that seriously affected banks and entire countries. According to the European Commission’s statement, some traders at the banks exchanged commercially sensitive information and coordinated trading strategies for euro-denominated bonds, mainly through online chatrooms.

This is already the third EU investigation that may see large fines for banks: last month the Commission charged Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse and a fourth bank with being part of a bond cartel, also citing traders using chatrooms. EU probes don’t always lead to fines, however, if found guilty, the banks could face fines up to 10 percent of their global turnover.

Read more on Bloomberg  and Reuters.