Swiss regulator hands out fines totalling $96.5 million to international banks
The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) has closed its investigations related to the Swiss franc LIBOR benchmark, interest rate derivatives in yen and the Euro, and the bid-ask spread on Swiss franc (CHF) derivatives. While the regulator described the conclusion of these investigations as amicable settlements, it has handed out fines totalling CHF 99 million ($96.5 million). Interest rate derivatives (e.g. forward rate agreements, swaps, futures, options) are financial products used for managing the risk of interest rate fluctuations. They derive their value from the level of a benchmark interest rate, such as the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) – which is used for various currencies. COMCO’s decisions can be appealed to the Swiss Federal Administrative Court.