RBS settles LIBOR manipulation case with $610M fine and one guilty plea

Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $610M in fines. Their subsidiary in Japan will plead guilty to one criminal count of fraud in the U.S.

This parallels the settlement UBS reached, which I discussed earlier – UBS settles LIBOR manipulation claims for $1.5B and one guilty plea.

Summary findings from CFTC press release PR6510-13:

  •  As recently as 2010 and dating back to at least mid-2006, RBS made hundreds of attempts to manipulate Yen and Swiss Franc LIBOR, and made false LIBOR submissions to benefit its derivatives and money market trading positions; RBS succeeded at times in manipulating Yen and Swiss Franc LIBOR;

  • At times, RBS aided and abetted other panel banks’ attempts to manipulate those same rates;

  • The misconduct involved more than a dozen RBS derivatives and money market traders, one manager, and multiple offices around the world, including London, Singapore, and Tokyo; and

  • The unlawful conduct continued even after RBS traders learned that a LIBOR investigation had been commenced by the CFTC.

Several reports you may find interesting:

New York Times – As Unit Pleads Guilty, R.B.S. Pay $612 Million Over Rate Rigging

The guilty plea of a sub makes this more than a minor penalty. One comment form the Times article:

“Like with Barclays and UBS, the settlement with R.B.S. is much more than a slap on the wrist,” said Bart Chilton, a member of the trading commission who is critical of soft fines on big banks.

Reuters – RBS fined $612 million for rate rigging

Wall Street Journal – RBS Settles Rate Changes

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