SocGen Set to Win Cut to $500 Million EU Rate-Rigging Fine

  • French lender was fined along with other banks in 2013
  • Societe Generale withdraws legal challenge at EU courts

Societe Generale SA is set to win a cut to its 446 million-euro ($500 million) penalty levied by European Union antitrust regulators for rigging benchmark interest rates after the French bank withdrew its EU court challenge.

The European Commission will retract its 2013 decision and issue a new one reducing the previous penalty, the lender said. The size of the reduction hasn’t been disclosed.

Societe Generale 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.

“In the course of its appeal before the General Court, Societe Generale recalculated its value of sales, and provided corrected figures to the European Commission,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement.

EU officials “have verified and accepted the newly calculated value of sales and will accordingly propose an amending decision to reduce the fine imposed. SG accepts the fine that is calculated on the basis of the corrected figures and therefore there is no reason for the appeal to be maintained,” it said.

The appeal was withdrawn on Feb. 10 and the case was closed on March 2, according to EU court documents.

“The commission welcomes the fact that Societe Generale has withdrawn its appeal against the commission’s decision in the Euro interest rate derivatives case,” EU spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an e-mail. “This follows an internal review by the bank that brought to light an inconsistency in the financial data initially submitted by Societe Generale to the commission.”

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