The European Union has lifted the ban on some banks that had been banned from working on its bond sale earlier in the week.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.,
Citigroup C -1.95%
Inc, Bank of America Corp.
, Barclays BCS -3.71%
PLC, Deutsche Bank AG
, Nomura Holdings RMN -2.85%
Inc, UniCredit UNCFF -5.27%
SpA and Crédit Agricole HER
are among the banks authorized to work on future bond sales, according to an EU official.
When the EU issued 20 billion euros, or $ 24 billion, in bonds on Tuesday to raise money for a fiscal stimulus package, it excluded some of the world’s biggest banks over their participation in cartels in the bond and currency markets in previous years. Banks were penalized for these actions in 2019 and 2021.
Banks that have been cleared will be eligible to work on future issues and were notified on Friday, the European Commission, which is the trading bloc’s executive body, said by email. “Their further exclusion from participation in syndicated transactions in EU bond issues is not justified,” he said.
The EU plans to sell up to € 60 billion in long-term debt this year and € 150 billion annually through 2026, and plans to use the funds to support member states’ economic recovery through to a combination of grants and loans. The program, the first major pan-European debt program, will ultimately raise around € 800 billion over five years.
JPMorgan, Bank of America, Barclays and Credit Agricole declined to comment. Some of the other banks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The EU ban referred to four cartel cases that were sanctioned in 2019 and 2021. Nomura and UniCredit were fined nearly € 130 million and € 69 million, respectively, in May for illegal collusion on European government bond transactions. In April, Bank of America was fined € 12.6 million for coordinating the prices of dollar-denominated sovereign bonds, while Crédit Agricole was fined nearly € 4 million .
Deutsche participated in a bond trading cartel. He was not fined for informing the EU, but has always been banned from selling bonds.
In 2019, the EU fined a group of banks including Barclays, JPMorgan and Citigroup € 1.07 billion for manipulating the foreign exchange market for 11 currencies, including the euro, pound, yen , the Swiss franc and the US dollar. This was done by exchanging sensitive information and trading plans through online discussion forums.
Other banks were also involved in these cartels but did not seek to work on EU bond transactions.
Write to Anna Hirtenstein at [email protected]
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