Credit Agricole, which refused to settle an antitrust probe over Euribor manipulation, accused European Union regulators of bias and said they should step down from the case, according to two people with knowledge of a letter the lender sent to the EU.
Bloomberg News reports that the bank argued that Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia and his team harmed its right to present a defence by announcing last year that a cartel existed in the case, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
The EU’s Euribor case became strained when three banks including Credit Agricole rejected an accord. Almunia split up the probe and announced a December 4 deal with Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Societe Generale. Barclays sidestepped a fine after blowing the whistle on the manipulation, and the other lenders agreed to a combined fine of about $1.4bn.
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