Dutch bank fined €26.6m by EU Commission as German bank avoids penalty

The European Commission recently announced that it fined a Dutch bank €26.6 million. The bank in question was fined for participating in a cartel, for 10 years, concerning the trading of Euro-denominated bonds along with another, German, bank.

The cartel focused on certain types of bonds, like Euro SSA bonds and Government Guaranteed bonds, traded in Europe. The investigation found that from 2006 to 2016, the two banks and their traders shared important information and worked together to plan their trades and set prices.

Bank number two, the German bank, was not fined as it revealed the cartel to the Commission under the leniency programme.

"*Bank number two* has proactively cooperated with the European Commission in this matter and, as a result, has been granted full immunity," the German bank said.

Speaking out about the fine, Commissioner Didier Reynders, in charge of competition policy said, “Trustworthy and well-functioning bonds trading markets are crucial not only for the national authorities issuing bonds but also for the investors buying and trading them. We will remain vigilant and committed to preserve effective competition in financial markets.”

It is evident that the European Commission's decision underscores its commitment to combating anti-competitive practices in financial markets. Bank one’s involvement in the cartel, along with the subsequent fine, serves as a regulatory response to collusion that undermines fair competition. The leniency program, exemplified by the German bank's immunity, incentivizes companies to disclose such activities, contributing to the enforcement of competition rules. This case highlights the Commission's role in maintaining market integrity and protecting fair competition within the European Economic Area.

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