Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Libor Scandal Resurfaces: Dutch Rabobank Set to be Fifth Bank to Be Heavily Fined

Thank you Jill and Stephen!

RB_logo_cmykStephen: While JPMorgan Chase (which appears to have sold its building but not its actual business to a Chinese conglomerate) continues to make headlines, there are three other major banks (Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS) who have been heavily fined for their part in the Libor rate rigging scandal. Rabobank could be the fifth by tomorrow.

Rabobank Faces US$965M (£600m) Fine as Libor Scandal Resurfaces

The Libor rigging scandal could be reignited on Tuesday when Dutch mutual Rabobank is expected to become the fifth financial institution to be hit with a huge fine for attempting to rig the benchmark interest rate.
The bank is thought to be facing fines of more than £600m from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, who are continuing their investigations into alleged manipulation of the key interest rate.
London’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and regulators in the US are thought to be poised to levy larger than expected penalties on Rabobank, a co-operative-style institution whose roots lie in financing agriculture and which escaped the financial crisis without a taxpayer bailout.
The bank has been warning that it faced a fine for Libor rigging since the summer when it revealed it had made a provision of an undisclosed sum in preparation for the regulatory action.
The Libor scandal was first exposed in June 2012, when Barclays was fined £290m for its role in attempting to manipulate the rate; its top management was subsequently forced out. Since then Royal Bank of Scotland, Swiss bank UBS and the money broker Icap have been fined. UBS received the highest penalty of £940m.
Rabobank said last week that details of its punishment were getting closer to publication. “Various authorities have almost completed their investigation into Rabobank’s role in the Libor and Euribor setting process,” the bank said. “Rabobank expects to be able to enter into settlements with these authorities within the next two weeks. Rabobank is not yet in a position to comment on possible settlement amounts.”
When it took a provision for Libor, it said it had been named as defendant in civil litigation in the US and that it would defend itself against any such claims.
At the time of the fine against Barclays City regulators said they were investigating seven other potential cases, which appears to indicate there are still three outstanding.
The regulator declined to comment on Monday night and Rabobank declined to elaborate on its previous statements.
Since the Libor scandal broke regulators have begun to scrutinise the way other benchmarks are set, such as those in the foreign exchange markets.
Earlier this month the FCA began an investigation that is expected to be on the scale of Libor after gathering information on the £3tn-a-day currency markets. The regulators are looking at the way traders may have been able to influence the way currency benchmarks are set and scrutinising the way energy markets operate.
By Jill Treanor, The Guardian – October 28, 2013

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