(By Balachander) Barclays Plc (NYSE:BCS) (LON: BARC) has agreed to pay a total of $452 million to settle charges alleging that traders at the UK bank manipulated key interbank lending rates.
The bank announced settlements in relation to investigations with the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority (FSA), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Fraud Section.
The FSA fined Barclays a record 59.5 million pounds for misconduct relating to the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor).
This resolution is part of an industry-wide probe into the setting of interbank offered rates across a range of currencies. Libor is the benchmark for roughly $360 trillion of securities worldwide.
"Barclays' misconduct was serious, widespread and extended over a number of years," said Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA. "The integrity of benchmark reference rates such as Libor and Euribor is of fundamental importance to both UK and international financial markets."
The CFTC brought attempted manipulation and false reporting charges against Barclays for similar failings.
The CFTC, which imposed a penalty of US$200 million, said Barclays attempted to manipulate interest rates and made related false reports to benefit its derivatives trading positions. CFTC's order found that Barclays made false reports concerning Libor and Euribor on numerous occasions and sometimes on a daily basis over a four-year period, commencing as early as 2005.
"When a bank acts in its own self-interest by attempting to manipulate these rates for profit, or by submitting false reports that result from senior management orders to lower submissions to guard the bank's reputation, the integrity of benchmark interest rates is undermined," said David Meister, the CFTC's Director of Enforcement.
As part of an agreement with the DOJ, Barclays admitted to its misconduct and agreed to pay a penalty of $160 million.
In connection with the resolution, Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond and other top executives of the bank have agreed to forgo any bonuses this year.