James Moore: Icap fights back at EU, but at what cost?


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Outlook How on earth has Icap managed to take the moral high ground after the Libor-fixing scandal? Ask the EU. Europe’s competition watchdogs want to fine the company something less than £10m for, allegedly, being part of a cartel that conspired to fix interest rates.

But Icap’s Michael Spencer is willing to spend money challenging the fine to prove a point, namely that while his people might have broken the rules, their grubby little gang wasn’t a cartel (as defined by the rules). He believes that the EU is overreaching itself and he might be right.

But taking the moral high ground (if that’s what Icap is doing) is a risky move, and not just financially. Every time the case is mentioned it will cast the shadow of immoral Libor fixing over Mr Spencer’s beloved business.

Is that really what he wants?