Thursday, 30 April 2015

That meeting

Looking over last week's coverage of Deutsche Bank's $2.5 billion fine for fixing the Libor rate it struck me little has been made of fact that interest rate manipulation was being discussed at a British Bankers Association board meeting all the way back in 2008.

Indeed, tucked away at the back of the Financial Conduct Authority's press release is a rather interesting nugget:

"There were a number of clear messages to Deutsche Bank of the risk arising from its IBOR submissions. For example: 

• Senior Manager A attended a meeting of the BBA Board on 16 April 2008 at which both lowballing of LIBOR submissions and potential trader manipulation of LIBOR were discussed. A former trader at the meeting claimed that traders procured LIBOR submissions to suit their trading positions." 

I imagine this might make uncomfortable reading for any other bank that was at the same BBA meeting and is still fighting sizeable legal claims related to Libor fixing.

And Last time I checked Lloyds, Barclays are RBS were all members of the BBA. The big question is: were they all at the same BBA meeting that took place on 16 April 2008?

A Lloyds spokesperson said:

"We do not intend to comment on whether Lloyds did or did not attend the relevant meeting in April 2008, nor do we intend to comment on DB’s settlement with the FCA and other regulators. 

Lloyds Banking Group entered into settlement with UK and US federal authorities in connection with LIBOR and BBA Repo Rate on 28 July 2014. Lloyds Banking Group’s statement in connection with those settlements and its absolute condemnation of the actions of the individuals responsible for the conduct in question was made clear at the time."

I asked both Barclays and RBS whether they would like to comment a couple of days ago but so far neither bank has responded formally to my enquiry. 


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