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Libor fixing probe spurs witness call-up at Citigroup and Deutsche Bank

by: IFAonline
  • 24/03/2011
  • 0
Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have been asked by the US financial watchdog the SEC to make employees available as witnesses in a probe of potential interest-rate manipulation.

The banks, members of the panel that sets the Libor interbank offered rate, were asked to appear voluntarily for the interviews in London in April with the FSA, according to people close to the situation, Bloomberg reports.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission may be investigating whether banks colluded to artificially reduce Libor.

Libor rates, a benchmark for more than $350trn of financial products worldwide, are set daily by the British Bankers’ Association based on data from banks reflecting how much it would cost them to borrow for various periods of time and in different currencies.

The Bank for International Settlements questioned whether Libor rates were accurate during the credit crisis, and some analysts accused banks of concealing the difficulty they were having in borrowing money.

Spokespeople from Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank, Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender by assets, Citigroup, the U.S. bank that received the biggest taxpayer bailout, and JPMorgan, the second biggest U.S. lender by assets, declined to comment.

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