EU clears banks previously banned from bond sales

The EU executive said on Friday that eight of the 10 banks previously excluded from syndicated debt sales backing the European Commission’s Covid-19 recovery fund of up to €800 billion will be allowed to take part in lucrative future transactions.

“The eight banks have provided information that allow the Commission to conclude that their further exclusion from participation in syndicated transactions in EU bond issuances is not warranted,” the Commission said in a statement.

It said the decision came after a thorough analysis “taking into consideration the remedial measures applied by the concerned institutions.”

The remedial measures are said to include providing evidence of how the banks will monitor the activities of traders in “chat rooms” — and a document being described as a “declaration on honour” promising to follow EU standards.

The EU launched its largest ever debt issuance earlier this week with a €20 billion bond sale — but 10 banks were excluded from the deal due to previous involvement in market-rigging scandals.

The Commission did not name the eight banks, but news reports identified them as Deutsche Bank, Crédit Agricole, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Barclays, UniCredit, Bank of America, and Nomura.

NatWest-RBS and Natixis remain excluded until they provide the EU with more information, the reports said.