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Barclays settles US states' claims over Libor scandal

Published 09/08/2016

Attorney general Eric Schneiderman
Attorney general Eric Schneiderman

Barclays has agreed to a $100m (£76.7m) settlement with 44 American states over charges that it manipulated the Libor interest rate.

Managers at Barclays told Libor submitters during the financial crisis to lower their Libor setting so the bank did not appear "in financial difficulty" and would not need to pay more than its rivals to borrow money, New York's attorney general said.

Barclays was the first of several banks under investigation by the State Attorneys General to resolve the claims against it.

Attorney general Eric Schneiderman said: "There has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or powerful, and that includes big banks and other financial institutions that engage in fraud or impair the fair functioning of financial markets.

"As a result of Barclays' misconduct, government entities and not-for-profits were defrauded of funds that otherwise could have been used to benefit the people of New York."

The investigation found that between 2005 and 2009 traders at Barclays looked to boost their positions by asking Libor submitters to change their settings instead of basing Libor on the bank's borrowing costs.

The settlement comes after Barclays agreed to pay $453m (£347m) to settle a Libor probe in 2012 with the Justice Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Banks which have also settled with US authorities over Libor include Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, ICAP and Deutsche Bank.

A spokesman for Barclays said the bank was "pleased" to have resolved the investigation into its Libor and Euribor-related activities.

He added: "We believe this settlement is in the best interests of our shareholders and clients, and allows us to continue to focus on the future and serve our clients."

The Libor rate is used to set millions of pounds worth of financial deals, including car loans and mortgages. It is also used in complex overseas financial transactions.

Belfast Telegraph

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