Settlement of $1.5B possible for UBS over allegedly playing games with LIBOR. And maybe some individual criminal indictments.

The Wall Street Journal reports $1.5B is the expectation for a settlement next week.  See their article A Shadow Over Banks as UBS Nears Deal.

(Behind paywall, so either grab yesterday’s paper quick or get an online subscription. Or do both.)

Criminal charges?

Other than the sheer size of the settlement, what caught my eye is the possibility of criminal charges.  The article says UBS will have one of its subs in Japan plead guilty to a criminal charge. More important is there may be some individuals charged.

That would change the future calculus for middle and senior level staff from “we’ll have a bad quarter if we get caught” to “I might go to jail.”  I discussed that here for the money laundering issue.

It’s not just Libor

Looks like this will be for allegedly playing with several rates.  Check out this comment:

The Swiss bank is set to agree as soon as this week to pay roughly $1.5 billion to settle allegations of wrongdoing related to benchmarks such as the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, say people close to the talks.

That comment “such as” tells me that the settlement will include influencing the Euribor, which I discussed earlier here.

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