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British banking group Lloyds fined 218 mln pounds by regulators for rates manipulation

English.news.cn   2014-07-29 13:43:10

LONDON, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Lloyds Banking Group, one of the major high street banks in Britain, Monday announced that it has reached settlements worth 218 million pounds (370 million U.S. dollars) to resolve with British and United States authorities legacy issues regarding the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and Sterling Repo Rate.

Lloyds said in a statement that the group condemns the actions of the individuals responsible for the conduct in question, which it regards as totally unacceptable and unrepresentative of the cultural changes that the group has implemented.

The LIBOR manipulation scandal took place between May 2006 and 2009 and the individuals have either left the group, been suspended or are subject to disciplinary proceeding, said Lloyds.

According to the settlement, Lloyds has agreed to pay 35 million, 62 million and 51 million pounds to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in Britain, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the United States and the U.S. Department of Justice respectively.

Norman Blackwell, chairman of Lloyds, said in a statement: "The board regards the actions of these individuals between 2006 and 2009 as completely unacceptable. Their behavior involved a gross breach of trust and we condemn it without reservation."

Lloyds also stressed that the group's management has fundamentally overhauled systems and controls across the bank. The audit function has been strengthened, and the group also has closed down most of its investment banking operations and reduced its overseas operations, the mortgage lender said.

So far, at least nine financial companies have been fined around 6 billion U.S. dollars for manipulating LIBOR, the benchmark interest rate for more than 300 trillion U.S. dollars of securities worldwide, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The CFTC and the FCA confirmed the settlements via their websites on the same day.

The FCA also announced it fined Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland, both part of Lloyds Banking Group, 70 million pounds to attempt to manipulate the fees payable to the Bank of England (BoE) for the firm's participation in the Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS).

The SLS was designed to support the Britain's banks during the financial crisis. The BoE used the British Bankers' Association Sterling Repo Rate to calculate the fees for the SLS.

However, during April 2008 and September 2009, the firms manipulated their Repo Rate submission in order to reduce the fees payable by them to the BoE, said FCA.

The financial watchdog described the case as an "extremely serious failing." (1 pound = 1.70 U.S. dollars)

Editor: Mioh Song
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