November 15, 2016 / 9:02 PM / 3 years ago

EU regulators readying fines for HSBC, JPMorgan, Credit Agricole - sources

The HSBC bank logo is seen at their offices in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Britain, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause/File Photo

BRUSSELS, (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators are set to fine Europe’s biggest bank HSBC (HSBA.L), JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) by the end of the year for rigging financial benchmarks linked to the euro, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Charges were levied in May 2014 against the three banks, which denied wrongdoing.

The European Commission could penalise HSBC, JPMorgan and Credit Agricole next month, the people said. The decision has been delayed several times and another hold-up could still occur.

European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso declined to comment. The EU competition enforcer can levy fines up to 10 percent of a company’s global turnover for breaching the bloc’s rules.

JPMorgan said the EU charges were without merit when it was served the document and that it would defend itself. Credit Agricole has said it would examine the charge sheet. HSBC said at that time that it would defend itself vigorously.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), RBS (RBS.L) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) admitted guilt in December 2013. Barclays (BARC.L) avoided a fine because it alerted the Commission.

U.S. and European regulators have so far handed down billion-dollar fines to more than 10 banks and brokerages for rigging the London interbank offered rate (Libor) and its euro cousin Euribor. Prosecutors have also charged more than a dozen men with fraud-related offences.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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