Competition authority raids big three banks

The competition authority NMa has raided offices at the country’s three biggest banks – ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank – apparently in connection with an investigation into price fixing on interest rates to corporate clients, the banks confirmed on Tuesday night.

The three banks control most of the commercial loan market between them. The NMa refused to comment on the reports.
The banks said it appeared to be a major operation. Documents were photocopied, computers taken away and workers interviewed. ‘The NMa arrived with 10 people,’ an ING spokesman told the Volkskrant. ‘It was totally unexpected.’ ‘They are telling us hardly anything. The NMa must give some answers,’ a Rabobank spokesman told the Financieele Dagblad.
The NMa said earlier it intended to give priority to the financial sector this year.
It is all ready looking into possible cartel-forming and price fixing in the market for private loans and on savings schemes. The results of that survey, now in the hands of economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven, will be sent to MPs next week, the Volkskrant said.

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