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UBS near a deal over Libor rigging December 5, 2012



Swiss bank UBS AG is reportedly close to settling an investigation by US and British authorities over alleged Libor rate manipulation and could pay a more than $450 million fine.

Currently the bank is in discussions with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the US Justice Department and Britain’s Financial Services Authority over the issue, the New York Times reported citing officials close to the matter. If the parties agree to strike a deal, it would result in the largest fines related to the rate-rigging scandal.

Libor is a key bank lending rate which affects different financial instruments and transactions worth more than $300 trillion worldwide.
Earlier this year British bank Barclays became the first financial institution to pay a fine of about $450mn over the Libor case. The scandal over rate manipulation led to the resignation of Barclays’ CEO Bob Diamond, Chairman Marcus Agius, and COO, Jerry de Missier.

Regulators and prosecutors in the US, Britain, Canada and Japan have been probing the major banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup over possible manipulation of Libor between 2005 and 2009.

Currently UBS is involved in a number of investigations and faces even more fines elsewhere. German prosecutors have launched an investigation into claims the Swiss bank’s German subsidiary helped customers evade local taxes by transferring money out of the country. In 2009, the bank struck a deal with US regulators to pay $780mn over alleged involvement in tax evasion and released the names of thousands of American clients suspected of tax fraud.