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Spanish competition regulator opens proceedings against 4 banks

Spanishcompetition regulator CNMC said April 7 that it initiated proceedings againstBanco Bilbao Vizcaya ArgentariaSA, Banco de SabadellSA, Banco SantanderSA and CaixaBankSA in connection with possible anti-competition agreements betweenthe four lenders.

Suchagreements might have aimed to fix prices and allow for the exchange of sensitiveinformation relating to interest rate derivative contracts used to cover therisk of syndicated loans, the CNMC said. The move stems from a complaint filedby Inversiones Empresariales Vapat SLU regarding a possible breach ofcompetition rules.

Theproceedings will be resolved after a maximum of 18 months, the CNMC said.