SocGen appeals Euribor fine

PARIS Mon May 12, 2014 11:29am EDT

A logo is seen is seen in front of French bank Societe Generale headquarters in La Defense near Paris, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

A logo is seen is seen in front of French bank Societe Generale headquarters in La Defense near Paris, February 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - French bank Societe Generale SOG.PA has appealed against the 445.9 million euro ($613.4 million) fine it paid last year for manipulating benchmark interest rates, saying regulators had miscalculated it.

In an appeal lodged in February and published on the website of the Official Journal of the European Union on Monday, Societe Generale claimed that the court should reduce "to an appropriate amount" the fine, which followed attempts by an employee to manipulate the Euribor rate between March 2006 and May 2008.

France's second-largest listed bank said it saw an "error of assessment" in the choice of method to calculate sales values, which it said did not "reflect the respective positions of the banks against which the action has been brought on the relevant market".

The settlement agreement with the European Commission followed the antitrust regulators' industry-wide investigation into how the euro-priced bank-to-bank lending rate was set.

EU antitrust regulators slapped a record 1.7 billion euro ($2.34 billion) penalty on six financial institutions including Deutsche Bank, RBS, JPMorgan and Societe Generale last December.

Societe Generale declined to comment. The EU commission was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva, additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee)

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