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Λογότυπος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής
Competition Policy

Cases & Judgments (Financial services)

This page contains links to competition cases in the financial intermediation sector

Antitrust cases

Antitrust:  Insurance Ireland AT.40511 Decision of 30th June 2022

On 14th May 2019, the Commission opened a formal investigation into Insurance Ireland to assess whether the conditions of access to its Insurance Link data pooling system restricted competition.  A statement of objections was issued on 18th June 2021.  On 25th February 2022, the Commission sought feedback on the commitments offered by Insurance Ireland, and market tested the commitments between 4th March and 4th April 2022.  On 30th June 2022, the Commission issued a decision accepting the commitments offered and making them legally binding.   AT_40511

Cartel: Foreign Exchange Spot Trading Settlement Decisions of 16th May 2019 and 2nd December 2021

Infographic - Foreign Exchange Spot Trading of G10 Currencies (Forex)
English
(2.41 MB - ZIP)
Τηλεφόρτωση

 

In three settlement decisions and one non-settlement decision, the European Commission fined five banks for taking part in two cartels in the Spot Foreign Exchange market for 11 currencies - Euro, British Pound, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, US, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian Dollars, and Danish, Swedish and Norwegian crowns.

  • The first decision (so-called “Forex - Three Way Banana Split” cartel) imposed a total fine of €811 197 000 on Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup and JPMorgan.
  • The second decision (so-called “Forex- Essex Express” cartel) imposed a total fine of €257 682 000 on Barclays, RBS and MUFG Bank (formerly Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi).
  • The third decision (so-called “Forex – Sterling Lads cartel) imposed a total of € 261 million on the four banks that decided to settle the case, namely UBS, Barclays, RBS and HSBC. The Commission has also fined Credit Suisse € 83 million under the ordinary procedure.  Credit Suisse chose not to enter the settlement procedure.

UBS was an addressee of all three decisions, but was not fined as it revealed the existence of the cartels to the Commission.

The Commission's investigation revealed that some traders in charge of the Forex spot trading of G10 currencies, acting on behalf of the fined banks, exchanged sensitive information and trading plans within multilateral chatrooms. These information exchanges enabled the traders to make informed market decisions instead of acting independently from each other take an inherent risk in taking these decisions. AT_40135

Antitrust – MasterCard II Decision of 19th April 2019 and and Visa Decision of 29 April 2019

The European Commission made commitments offered by Mastercard and Visa legally binding under EU antitrust rules. The companies committed to significantly reduce (on average by around 40%) their multilateral interchange fees for payments in the EEA.  The commitments, apply for five years and six months from the date of the Commitments Decision, and cover inter-regional interchange fees applied to payments made with the Mastercard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron and V-PAY credit and debit card brands. A trustee was appointed by the Commission to monitor the implementation of the commitments. AT_40049 (Mastercard) and AT.39398 (Visa)

Financial and insurance activities (NACE code K):

 

Mergers cases

22nd October 2021 S&P Global Acquires IHS Market Phase 1 commitments decision

Following an investigation, the European Commission approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of IHS Markit by S&P Global. Both companies are major global providers of commodity and financial data. The approval was  conditional on the divestment of businesses in the areas of commodity price assessments and financial data M_10108

9th July 2021 Aon acquires Willis Towers Watson Phase 2 commitments decision

Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Willis Towers Watson by Aon. The approval was conditional on full compliance with a substantial set of commitments offered by Aon, including the divestment of central parts of WTW's business to the international brokerage company Arthur J. Gallagher.

Both companies are global leading players in the markets for commercial risk brokerage services, reinsurance brokerage and the provision of retirement, health & welfare and investment services to commercial customers. M_9829

13 January 2021 London Stock Exchange Group acquires Refinitiv Phase 2 commitments decision

Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Refinitiv by the London Stock Exchange Group (‘LSEG'). LSEG is a global financial markets infrastructure business. It also offers financial data products. Refinitiv is a provider of financial data products. It also controls Tradeweb, which operates trading venues. The approval was conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by LSEG. M_9564

30th September 2020 Worldline acquires Ingenico Phase 1 commitments Decision

Following an investigation, the European Commission approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Ingenico by Worldline, both active in the payment services sector. The approval was conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by the parties to divest certain of the overlapping businesses. M_9776

17th August 2020 Mastercard acquires Nets’ Account-to account payment services Phase 1 commitments Decision

Following an investigation, the European Commission approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Nets' account-to-account payment business by Mastercard. The decision was conditional on the transfer of a license for Nets' “Realtime 24/7” technology for account-to-account core infrastructure services as well as of the relevant personnel and other assets. M_9744

Financial and insurance activities (NACE code K):

 

State Aid cases

2nd August 2022The European Commission approved, under EU State aid rules, a set of revised commitments submitted by Italy, replacing the original commitments on the basis of which the Commission had approved a precautionary recapitalisation of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. SA_103450

5th December 2019 The European Commission found Germany's plans to strengthen the capital position of state-owned Norddeutsche Landesbank – Girozentrale (NordLB) to be free of any State aid. The European Central Bank, as responsible supervisor, gave its approval to the plan on 29 November 2019. SA_49094

10th October 2019 The European Commission found Greek plans aimed at supporting the reduction of non-performing loans of Greek banks to be free of any State aid. The Commission found that, under the asset protection scheme (known by the name of “Hercules”), the Greek State would be remunerated in line with market conditions for the risk it would assume by granting a guarantee on securitised non-performing loans. SA_53519

State Aid Temporary Framework [read more]
As announced in May 2022, the State aid COVID Temporary Framework will not be extended beyond the current expiry date of 30 June 2022, for most of the tools provided.   Investment and solvency support measures may still be put in place until 31 December 2022 and 31 December 2023 respectively, as already provided for under the existing rules. In addition, the Temporary Framework already provides for a flexible transition, under clear safeguards, in particular for the conversion and restructuring options of debt instruments, such as loans and guarantees, into other forms of aid, such as direct grants, until 30 June 2023.

Financial and insurance activities (NACE code K):