Exclusive: RBS fined $612 million for rate rigging

Wed Feb 6, 2013 6:25pm EST
 
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By Matt Scuffham and Kirstin Ridley

Advisory: strong language in paragraph 25

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $612 million to U.S. and British authorities to settle allegations it manipulated benchmark interest rates, and regulators warned there is more to come in the global investigation.

RBS became the third bank to pay fines in the Libor scandal.

The British bank, which is 82 percent-owned by the state after the world's costliest bank bailout in 2008, said on Wednesday it was cutting bonuses to help pay for the fine, in a bid to avoid a public backlash.

The bank fears the scandal will embolden critics who want it to further shrink its profitable investment bank and focus on basic lending at home.

"What happened at RBS and other banks is totally unacceptable," Britain's finance minister, George Osborne, told reporters.

Britain's Financial Services Authority (FSA) signaled more large fines were in the offing.

"The size and scale of our continuing investigations remains significant," said Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA.   Continued...

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