While financial institutions are subject to a certain degree of financial / prudential regulation, and the sector is generally competitive, they are certainly not immune from the risk of antitrust infringements. In many jurisdictions, including Singapore, there have been cases where competition authorities have investigated and acted, imposing large fines and resulting in follow-on civil liability to third parties. In some jurisdictions, both the institution and the relevant individuals may even face criminal charges / sanctions for antitrust related offences.
In Singapore, while mergers and acquisitions which require the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore may, in certain cases, be excluded from the general merger control regime under the Competition Act, it is important to note that the other two substantive prohibitions (on anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance) apply equally to regulated financial institutions in Singapore.
We have also seen antitrust enforcement actions being taken in recent years which arise from capital markets activities, where financial institutions have traditionally been more mindful of securities / market misconduct related regulations. This update outlines some of the key antitrust enforcement actions in the financial sector and key points that financial institutions should keep in mind when thinking about layering on an antitrust compliance perspective in their processes.
If you would like information or assistance on the above or any other area of law, you may wish to contact the Partner at WongPartnership whom you normally work with or the following Partner:
CHAN Jia Hui
Partner – Antitrust & Competition
Partner – Financial Services Regulatory
d +65 6416 2794
Click here to see Jia Hui’s CV.