Business

Rabobank fined $1bn over Libor

A view of the City of London
Image caption Regulators are continuing to investigate the rate-rigging scandal

Dutch bank Rabobank says it has agreed to pay fines of 774m euros ($1bn; £662m) imposed by US, UK and Dutch regulators over the Libor interest rate-fixing scandal.

The bank added that its chief executive, Piet Moerland, had stepped down.

Libor rates are used to set trillions of dollars of financial contracts.

These include many car loans and mortgages, as well as complex financial transactions around the world.

Regulators have been investigating the manipulation of Libor inter-bank lending rates since 2012 in the wake of Barclays' £290m ($454m) fine by US and UK authorities.

A string of international banks have been implicated in the affair, while several criminal charges have been brought against traders.

'Extremely disappointing'

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it had fined Rabobank £105m for "serious, prolonged and widespread misconduct relating to Libor".

The £105m fine is the third-highest on record by the FCA or its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The FCA said the bank's "poor internal controls" encouraged collusion between its traders and Libor submitters and attempts at benchmark manipulation.

Rabobank did not fully address these failings until August 2012, despite assuring the regulator in March 2011 that "suitable arrangements" were in place, the FCA said.

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: "Traders and submitters treated Libor submissions as a potential way to make money, with no regard for the integrity of the market. This is unacceptable."

Ms McDermott added: "Rabobank's flawed assurances and failure to get a grip on what was going on in its business were extremely disappointing."

In February 2013, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was fined £390m by UK and US regulators for its part in the Libor scandal.

At the time, the FSA fined RBS £87.5m, while about £300m was paid to US regulators and the US Department of Justice.

Last month, UK broker ICAP was fined $87m for its part in the rate-fixing scandal.

In addition, three of its former traders were charged in New York with several counts of wire fraud.

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