The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into a ‘cartel’ among bond traders at a group of international banking giants, according to Sky News.
The CMA said it launched its investigation into ‘suspected anti-competitive arrangements in the financial services sector’ on 13 November. The competition watchdog disclosed the investigation on 16 November, however did not provide further details.
Over the weekend, Sky News reported that the inquiry is focusing on activity in the UK’s multibillion-pound bonds markets. It is unclear which banks are being looked into as part of the probe. Sky News said that Citi, Deutsche Bank and HSBC have refused to say whether they have been contacted as part of the investigation.
The CMA said Chapter 1 of the Competition Act 1998 (CA98) and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, may have been breached.
It added: ‘The case is at an early stage and no assumption should be made at this point that competition law has been infringed.
‘The CMA has not reached a view as to whether there is sufficient evidence of an infringement of competition law for it to issue a statement of objections to any of the parties under investigation.’