(Adds detail, context)
By Joshua Franklin
ZURICH Dec 21 The Swiss Competition Commission
(COMCO) fined several European and U.S. banks almost 100 million
Swiss francs ($97.3 million) over interest rate cartels, the
latest punishment dished out in connection with rate-rigging
COMCO began its investigation in December 2012, after
Barclays Plc became the first bank to settle
allegations it had attempted to manipulate the London Interbank
Offered Rate (LIBOR), paying a $450 million fine to U.S. and UK
The COMCO penalties announced on Wednesday, the largest of
which was a 33.9 million franc fine for JPMorgan Chase & Co
, are relatively small compared to other sanctions doled
out in rate-rigging cases.
But they are a further sign of the collusion which took
place in the setting of interest rate derivatives, used by banks
and companies to manage the risk of interest rates fluctuations.
COMCO said several banks had particpated in cartels over
Swiss franc LIBOR, the bid-ask spread on Swiss franc interest
rate derivatives, Yen LIBOR, Euroyen TIBOR and EURIBOR.
The JPMorgan fine came after COMCO concluded it operated a
bilateral cartel with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) with
the aim of influencing the Swiss franc LIBOR benchmark between
March 2008 and July 2009, COMCO said in a statement.
RBS received full immunity for revealing the existence of
the cartel to the COMCO.
Barclays was fined 29.8 million francs for
participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives,
Proceeding are ongoing against BNP Paribas, Credit
Agricole, HSBC, JPMorgan and Rabobank over
the euro interest rate cartel, COMCO said.
For full information on the COMCO decisions see here
($1 = 1.0273 Swiss francs)
(Editing by Michael Shields)