UBS nears deal with U.S., UK over Libor

Mon Dec 3, 2012 1:02pm EST
 

By Martin de Sa'Pinto and Steve Slater

ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS AG is nearing a deal to settle claims some of its staff manipulated interest rates and could reach agreement with U.S. and British authorities by the end of the year, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

UBS is expected to pay more than $450 million to settle claims some of its employees submitted false Libor rates, the New York Times reported earlier.

Britain's Barclays Plc was fined $453 million in June for manipulating Libor benchmark interest rates, and remains the only bank to settle in the investigation, which led to the resignation of the bank's chairman and chief executive.

U.S. and UK regulators, which released their settlements with Barclays at the same time, are working together on the UBS investigation and could release an agreement by the end of the year, although the timing could slip into next year, the person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The reliability of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, has been cast into doubt by the rate manipulation accusations. Libor is intended to measure the rate at which banks lend to one another and is used as a benchmark for $300 trillion of contracts and loans across the world.

UBS was the first bank globally to report suspected rate rigging, and has said it has received conditional immunity from some authorities for cooperating in their probes.

A UBS spokeswoman told Reuters that the bank was in the midst of discussions with authorities in the United States and Britain in connection with Libor investigations and has been cooperating fully with the regulatory and enforcement authorities, but gave no further details.

Britain's Financial Services Authority declined to comment beyond confirming the already established fact that the FSA is investigating UBS.   Continued...

 
Signs are seen on the outside of Swiss bank UBS in central London November 20, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor