SocGen `Mistake' Earns Bank $248 Million Cut to Euribor Fine

  • EU says SocGen `made a mistake' in submitting revenue data
  • Bank's Euribor penalty cut to about 228 million euros

Societe Generale SA’s calculation “mistake” won the bank a 218 million-euro ($248 million) windfall after European Union antitrust regulators slashed its half-billion dollar penalty for rigging benchmark interest rates.

The European Commission modified its 2013 decision after Societe Generale “made a mistake when submitting the initial data,” the EU authority said in a statement on Wednesday. The amended fine of about 228 million euros is based on corrected value of sales supplied by SocGen in February, the commission said.

The lender was fined for rigging Euribor as part of settlements with eight companies, including Deutsche Bank AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, which yielded a record 1.7 billion euros in penalties. The French lender appealed how the levy was calculated to the EU General Court, which was the first legal challenge by a company in a cartel settlement since the process was introduced in 2008. Ahead of Wednesday’s fine cut, SocGen had withdrawn in February its appeal.

“Societe Generale has taken note of the European Commission’s decision, which responds favorably to the bank’s request for rectification,” the Paris-based lender said in an e-mailed statement.

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