TP ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, has been partially cleared by the Luxembourg-based General Court over allegations it plotted with a cartel in the yen swaps markets to rig Libor, the mechanism used to set interest rates.
In 2015, and after a long-running probe into rate manipulation, the European Commission fined ICAP €14.9 million ($17.3 million) for facilitating several cartels involved in setting benchmark interest rates in the Japanese yen.
The dispute covered a three-year period, between 2007 and 2010. But following the ruling, ICAP decided to fight the heavy penalty imposed by European antitrust authorities, as the broker dealer said that the case was based on the same allegations for which it had been fined £55 million by the UK and US regulators in 2013.
TP ICAP had its convictions overturned by Europe’s second-highest court, on the grounds that the Commission’s decision against the interdealer broker was flawed in several aspects and was not insufficiently reasoned, the court said.
In a statement following its decision to quash the charge, the general court in Luxembourg said: “The Court takes the view that the Commission has not succeeded in proving that ICAP participated in one of the cartels, that the duration found by the Commission of ICAP’s participation in three cartels was excessive and that it failed to provide sufficient reasons as regards the methodology for calculating the fine.”
Judges also told the EU Commission to recalculate its fine and also bear 75 percent of legal costs that TP ICAP paid in this case.
Systems remain down
Earlier yesterday, TP ICAP suspended its voice-broking businesses and some other administrative operations owing the outage to computer network problems.
Although it stays down until now, the company said in a brief announcement it has made significant progress in diagnosing the issues and initiating recovery. It also confirmed that a technical glitch was the culprit behind its network outage and not a result of a cyber breach.
After an all-night examination of computer systems, the exchange’s technicians said that they can confirm that most of ICAP’s other businesses remain unaffected.