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RBS fined £390m over Libor failings

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RBS fined £390m over Libor failings

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been hit with fines totalling £390 million over its Libor failings.

It was fined £87.5 million by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined it $325 million (£207m) and the US Department of Justice fined it $150 million (£95m).

The banks has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud relating to Yen Libor and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in relation to one count of wire fraud relating to Swiss Franc Libor and one count for an antitrust violation relating to Yen Libor. 

RBS chief executive Stephen Hester said: ‘I want to speak very clearly and on behalf of the 137,000 employees of RBS. We condemn the behaviour of the individuals who sought to influence some LIBOR currency settings at our bank from 2006-10. There is no place at RBS for such behaviour.’

A joint investigation between the FSA, the CFTC, the DoJ, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA) uncovered wrongdoing on the part of 21 RBS employees, predominantly in relation to the setting of the bank's Yen and Swiss Franc Libor submissions.

The investigation found:

  • Yen and Swiss france derivative traders sought to influence the Bank's Yen and Swiss franc Libor setters in the period October 2006 to November 2010;
  • Two RBS traders based in London colluded with other banks and brokers in making and receiving requests for higher and lower Yen and Swiss franc Libor;
  • RBS's Yen, Swiss franc and US dollar money market traders on occasion considered their own money markets books as a factor in their Libor submissions.

RBS said all 21 wrongdoers referred to in the regulatory findings have left the organisation or been subject to disciplinary action.

Six have been dismissed for Libor related misconduct, including two managers.

Six have been severely disciplined or are going through a disciplinary process.

Eight left the organisation before disciplinary action could be taken and one was dismissed for misconduct not related to these findings.

In addition to the 21, two managers with supervisory responsibilities have also left RBS.

The FSA said RBS’s misconduct was widespread with at least 219 requests for inappropriate submissions documented – an unquantifiable number of oral requests made.

It said RBS did not have any Libor-related systems and controls in place until March 2011, and failed to adequately address the risk that derivatives traders would seek to influence its Libor submissions until June 2011.

It also failed to adequately address the risk that money market traders would take into account the impact of Libor on the profitability of transactions in their money market books, until March 2012.

Hester said: ‘Libor manipulation is an extreme example of a selfish and self-serving culture that took hold in parts of the banking industry during the financial boom. We will use the lessons learned from this episode as further motivation to reject and change the vestiges of that culture.’

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