RBS faces fines to settle Libor probe

Fri Nov 2, 2012 5:25am EDT
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By Matt Scuffham and Steve Slater

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland said it may face fines in relation to how it set Libor and other interest rates and is keen to settle the matter as soon as possible.

RBS is under investigation by U.S. and UK authorities over its part in the interest rate rigging scandal and is expected to be one of the next banks to settle after its UK rival Barclays was fined $450 million in June.

"The group expects to enter into negotiations to settle some of these investigations in the near term and believes the probable outcome is that it will incur financial penalties," RBS said as it reported quarterly results on Friday.

The part-nationalized bank said it had dismissed a number of employees for misconduct after its own investigations into interest rate setting.

RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester said the timing of a settlement is in the hands of regulators.

"We have to dance to the tune of the relevant regulators," Hester told reporters on a conference call. "We are up for settling with all and every one as soon as they are ready."

He said it was difficult to know if RBS faces a bigger fine than Barclays, which is the only bank to so far settle.

Even if the fine was smaller than Barclays' it would still be a "miserable day" for RBS, Hester said. "It is a deeply regrettable thing....this is the sort of thing the industry has to put behind it," he said.   Continued...

A logo of an Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is seen at a branch in London February 23, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth