“One rate may obscure another. Ditto for the scandals,” quips Le Figaro, reporting on news in The Wall Street Journalthat “the European Commission is preparing to charge several banks with attempted collusion in fixing the Euribor.”
Between mid-2005 and mid-2008, unscrupulous traders are alleged to have asked their banking colleagues to submit a higher or lower cash rate, just to enhance their positions. Faced with this, Brussels is looking into both the possible existence of a fraud and a violation of the rules of competition.
The French daily recalls that “a dozen banks were investigated [from October 2011], including the Société Génrale, Crédit Agricole, HSBC and Deutsche Bank.” The daily describes the news in the American business journal as –
a bombshell for the European Banking Federation, which manages Euribor and that thought that a panel of 43 banks would better protect the European benchmark than its British cousin, with a lighter hand,” [Libor has 18 banks].