Antitrust & Financial Services

HSBC v Commission: EU General Court gives leeway to the Commission in application of fundamental rights of defence

Oct 14, 2019

In December 2016, HSBC was fined €33.6 million by the European Commission for its role in the Euro Interest Rates Derivatives (EIRD) cartel – an off-shoot of the regulatory scrutiny of LIBOR manipulation.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust & Financial Services
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Claimants Bring UK Class Action Against Investment Banks for FX Manipulation

Aug 09, 2019

On 29 July 2019, claimants brought a class action in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) against five investment banks, alleging potentially billions of pounds in damages from cartel conduct in the foreign exchange markets. 

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust & Financial Services
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Mass Claim Against MasterCard in UK is Given a Second Chance at Certification

Apr 29, 2019

On 16 April 2019, the Court of Appeal issued a ruling that gives a second chance at certification to the £14 billion mass consumer claim brought against MasterCard by Walter Merricks. The ruling breathes new life into the claim and into the UK’s nascent opt-out class action regime.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust
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EU Loan Syndication Study Identifies Areas of Potential Antitrust Risk

Apr 10, 2019

On 5 April 2019, the Competition Directorate of the European Commission published a report of a study into ‘EU loan syndication and its impact on competition in credit markets’.  The decision to commission the Report reflects a growing concern by regulators as to the establishment and conduct of syndicates in the lending and other sectors.  This concern is, in part, reflected in several recent antitrust and regulatory investigations and decisions.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services
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European Commission Extends FX Scrutiny to FX Options

Feb 22, 2019

On 19 February 2019, HSBC reported that the European Commission is investigating “potential coordination in [FX] options trading”.  The announcement signals an extension of the Commission’s long-running antitrust scrutiny into FX markets.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services
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FCA Issues First Ever Fine Against Individual Based on Antitrust Misconduct

Feb 06, 2019

On 4 February 2019, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed a £32,000 fine on Paul Stephany, a former fund manager at Newton Investment Management Ltd. (Newton), for attempted bid-rigging in the context of the book-building processes for an IPO (by On The Beach Group plc) and a share placement (by Market Tech Holdings Limited) in 2015.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
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Swiss Competition Commission Investigates Mobile Payment Apps

Nov 27, 2018

On 15 November 2018, the Swiss Competition Commission, Comco, announced an investigation into whether various Swiss financial firms agreed to boycott Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, in order to protect rival mobile payments app, TWINT. 

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Global Litigation
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UK CMA Opens Antitrust Investigation Into ‘Bond Trading’

Nov 19, 2018

On 16 November 2018, the UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive arrangements in the financial services sector that may infringe Chapter I (CA 1998) or Article 101 (TFEU).

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
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United States CFTC Fines Bank of America for ISDAfix Manipulation

Oct 12, 2018

On 20 September 2018, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) ordered Bank of America, N.A (Bank of America) to pay a $30 million civil penalty to settle charges of manipulation of the ISDAfix interest rate benchmark.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Global Litigation
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Australian authorities launch criminal cartel proceedings against investment banks – UPDATE

Oct 10, 2018

On 5 June 2018, the Australian Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) laid criminal charges against three investment banks, ANZ, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank and six senior executives at those banks.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Global Litigation
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London Court Sentences Two Former Traders for Euribor Manipulation

Aug 13, 2018

On 19 July 2018, as a result of a prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), a London court sentenced two former traders, Phillipe Moryoussef and Christian Bittar, to eight years and five years in prison for conspiracy to defraud by manipulation of the ‘Euribor’ interest rate benchmark. It follows similar convictions in relation to ‘Libor’ manipulation in 2015 and 2016.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Global Litigation
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UK Payment Systems Regulator to Review Card-acquiring Services

Aug 07, 2018

On 24 July 2018, the UK Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) announced its intention to conduct a market review into card-acquiring services in the UK. The review could involve significant consequences for UK payment card schemes and acquirers in terms of regulatory changes and antitrust sanctions.

 

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Global Litigation
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FX: Credit Suisse Signals Intention to Contest the European Commission’s Case

May 09, 2018

Manipulation of foreign exchange (FX) benchmarks has been one of the largest and longest-running probes into collusion between banks and related misconduct.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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UK LIBOR Claim for Antitrust Damages – Banks Apply to Strike Out

Apr 05, 2018

In what is understood to be the first LIBOR-related antitrust case in the UK (FDIC v Barclays and others), defendants have applied in the High Court in London to have the claims against them struck out. 

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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U.S. Antitrust Case Alleges Banks Manipulated Mexican Government Bond Market

Apr 03, 2018

On 30 March 2018, two U.S. pension funds filed the first U.S. class action alleging illegal coordinated conduct by and among authorized dealers of Mexican government bonds (MGBs).

Related Attorney(s): Brian Wallach
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): New York, Washington
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U.S. Federal District Court Certifies Class Action Alleging Libor Manipulation

Mar 20, 2018

On 28 February 2018, the district court for the Southern District of New York certified a class of over-the-counter (“OTC”) investors suing Bank of America and JP Morgan. The investors are pursuing federal antitrust claims alleging the banks manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate (“Libor”).

Related Attorney(s): Ngoc Hulbig
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Charlotte, New York, Washington
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The UK Payment Systems Regulator Opens First Antitrust Case

Mar 05, 2018

On 28 February 2018, the UK Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) confirmed that it has opened its first antitrust investigation, and has conducted dawn raids at a number of sites around the country. The PSR has not yet disclosed the identities of the payment systems firms under investigation or the suspected misconduct.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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UK Antitrust Authority Sets Out Its Brexit Preparations

Feb 27, 2018

On 22 February 2018, Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) General Counsel, Sarah Cardell, gave a speech setting out the UK competition authority’s objectives and the steps taken to prepare for Brexit. This is a matter of importance for all sectors, but particularly the financial services sector that plays such a significant role in the UK economy.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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UK Antitrust Authority Investigation of Investment Consultants: Progress Report

Feb 26, 2018

In September 2017, the UK antitrust authority, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), began a market investigation into competitive conditions in investment consultancy and fiduciary management services. On 21 February 2018, the CMA declared that it has made progress, is about to publish its working papers, and launch a further information gathering exercise. The CMA states that it is contemplating remedial action and expects to publish a provisional decision in July 2018.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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The Spanish Competition Authority Fines Four Banks for Fixing Derivative Prices

Feb 22, 2018

On 13 February 2018, the Spanish Competition Authority, the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), fined four banks, Caixabank, Banco Santander, BBVA and Banco Sabadell, a total of € 91 million for colluding on the price of interest-rate derivatives, used to hedge risks related to syndicated loans for project finance. 

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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The UK Antitrust Authority Launches a New Campaign to Encourage Whistle-blowing and Increase Its Cartel Enforcement Activity

Feb 19, 2018

On 19 February 2018, the UK antitrust authority, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), launched a new advertising campaign to encourage more individuals to come forward with information that will help it uncover secret cartels. 

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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FCA Launches Study Into Non-workplace Pensions

Feb 07, 2018

On 2 February 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched a study into the state of competition in “non-workplace pensions”.  Citing potential concerns, the FCA announced its intention to look for evidence of consumer harm, and if any is found to propose remedies.  

Related Attorney(s): Tom Bainbridge, Vincent Brophy
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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Bank of England Creates Independent Committee to Decide Contested Enforcement Cases

Jan 10, 2018

The Bank of England (BoE) is set to establish a new ‘Enforcement Decision Making Committee’ (EDMC) for its Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The Committee, which will be composed of independent members, will decide so-called ‘contested cases’ where no settlement agreement could be reached between the PRA and the firm or individual under investigation.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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FCA Issues First Ever Antitrust Charges

Dec 01, 2017

On 29 November 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a statement of objections (i.e. charges) against four asset management firms: Artemis Investment; Hagreave Hale; Newton Investment Management; and River & Mercantile Group.

Related Attorney(s): Vincent Brophy, Tom Bainbridge
Related Practice(s): Antitrust, Antitrust & Financial Services, Antitrust Compliance & Counselling, Antitrust Investigations, Antitrust Litigation & Disputes, Global Litigation, Merger Clearance
Related Office(s): Brussels, London
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