Traders influenced LIBOR rates, says Canada

Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:08am EST
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(Reuters) - A group of traders and brokers had successfully managed to manipulate key interbank lending rates that affect loans around the world, one of the banks being investigated has told Canadian regulators, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Canada's Competition Bureau said in a court filing in Ottawa that a bank it did not identify has told the agency's investigators that people involved "were able to move" interest rates, the paper said.

The "cooperating party" is Swiss bank UBS AG UBSN.VX, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the situation.

"We don't comment on media speculation," UBS spokesman Peter McKillop told Reuters.

UBS has said earlier that it has been granted some immunity by Switzerland's antitrust authority in return for cooperating with its probe into the potential manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor.

No banks or individuals have yet been charged with wrongdoing, the paper said.

Lawyers acting for the "cooperating bank" told the regulator that traders at six banks on the yen Libor panel -- Citigroup (C.N: Quote), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote), HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L: Quote), JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N: Quote), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote) and UBS -- influenced the rates, the Journal said, citing court documents.

Spokespeople for Citigroup, JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Scotland declined to comment to Reuters on the Journal report.

Deutsche Bank and HSBC Holdings could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular business hours.   Continued...