Barclays views it as imperative that the market has access to Benchmarks that are well constructed, transparent and that inspire the confidence of other market participants and regulators…
You can say that again.
Some (more) Libor reading landed this week — the responses from banks, and other cogs and gears of the market, to a recent report by Iosco about reforming financial benchmarks. Everyone from Thomson Reuters to the European Central Bank, Blackrock to Calpers, has weighed in here. Read more
Yes yes, the FSA had trouble passing the Wall Street Journal around the office in mid-2008.
Yeah, so “stupid Libor emails” is now an established sub-genre in banker literature.
Though the funny thing about Wednesday’s RBS revelations is that attempts at manipulation generally, at least at the start, weren’t written down. The whole problem was that people trading rates were sat right next to people in charge of submitting rates for Libor. That’s due to the “Short-Term Markets Desk”, RBS management’s October 2006 bid to “facilitate more communication”. Oops. Read more
Presenting the CFTC order against RBS, as part of the bank’s $325m settlement with the regulator over allegations of “hundreds” of attempts at manipulation of Libor (notably Yen Libor):
It’s not exactly surprising that US Libor prosecutors are pushing for criminal charges against one of Royal Bank of Scotland’s subsidiaries.
As we keep hearing, RBS’s level of involvement in the rate-rigging scandal is somewhere between Barclays, which got a nonprosecution agreement and paid $460m in penalties, and UBS, which paid $1.6bn and had to agree to having a Japanese subsidiary plead guilty to criminal charges. Read more
Soon, it appears, we’ll have another big Libor settlement to write about — this one from RBS. Both the FT and the WSJ are tipping the fines to be in the order of £500m. The FT says it could be more than £400m to the US authorities and about £100m to the FSA; the WSJ doesn’t mention how it might breakdown between the US and UK, but says the settlement “could be completed within the next two weeks”.
Also, yikes! RBS (or specifically, an Asian unit of RBS) might have to plead guilty to some criminal charges if the US prosecutors have their way, says the WSJ.
Shockingly RBS does not like this. But… RBS may not have any choice: Read more
Quite a victory for open justice on Thursday — senior Barclays bankers involved in the first major test litigation over Libor will be publicly named in court after all, after a High Court judge threw out their application for anonymity.
Full FT story here. (The FT joined other media organisations in challenging the anonymity.) Read more
The ESMA-EBA published their report on the administration and management of Euribor on Friday. Among the outline of the now familiar shortcomings of such benchmarks were tables demonstrating basic operational failures, e.g. fat finger errors by panel banks… Read more
ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) and the EBA (European Banking Authority) got together to make recommendations to the EEBF (Euribor-European Banking Federation) about Euribor. All the acronyms that start with E were there. It was quite the party, we’re told. Like, the EFSF got sooo drunk and nearly bailed out the Spanish government! The ESM was seriously not amused.
Anyway… Read more
The WSJ has news: “Bank Made Huge Bet, and Profit, on Libor“. The bank in question being Deutsche. The huge bet and profit being in 2008 on a bunch of rates trades.
Of course other banks did and do trade rates, in size, but let’s cut straight to the WSJ graphic… Read more
One of the things the Libor scandal has taught us is that there actually is a big contingent of people working in banks who don’t understand that emails, like puppies for Christmas, are forever. Strange, isn’t it?
To emphasize the point, Ernst and Young reported the results of an investigation, co-developed by the FBI, on language that tends to be present in electronic communications when cases of fraud are uncovered. Read more
The competition is on! Sure, UBS is already ahead of Barclays in the FSA fine stakes, but will the inevitable embarrassing communiques beat “done for you, big boy”? Opening gambit from the FSA’s Final Notice to UBS on Wednesday morning (emphasis ours):
For example, on 18 September 2008, a Trader explained to a Broker: “if you keep 6s [i.e. the six month JPY LIBOR rate] unchanged today … I will f[**]king do one humongous deal with you …
The FSA’s component of the UBS settlement relating to Libor and Euribor was £160m — the largest fine it has ever imposed.
The UK financial regulator made some revealing comments on the Swiss group’s transgressions, which it says “involved a significant number of employees and occurred over a period of years in a number of countries”: Read more
UBS will pay a total of CHF1.4bn ($1.5bn) — or, more than three Barclays — in fines and profit disgorgements related to Libor and Euribor claims. The payments will go to US, UK and Swiss regulators. The bank has also warned of losses totalling about CHF2 to 2.5bn for the fourth quarter, largely due to the settlements and provisioning, although CHF500m related to its restructuring.
Here is the statement: Read more
It might not be made public until Monday but the FT reports a fine above $1bn could be landing on UBS’s doorstep to settle allegations of Libor manipulation. Driven largely, it appears, by CFTC and DoJ penalties.
That’s more than double the Barclays record set in June… Read more
Consultation paper from the Financial Services authority, fresh off the printing press on Wednesday morning… Read more
“A judgmental structure of supervision that emphasises the big issues has to be matched by proper transparency . . . or it won’t work.” Andrew Bailey, head of prudential regulation at the Financial Services Authority, told that to parliamentarians on Monday.
Too bad there’s seemingly no tradition of transparent supervision in the UK, especially when it comes to banks. Read more
From Richard Farley, Leveraged Finance partner at lawyers Paul Hastings
Last Friday, Britain’s top financial regulator, Martin Wheatley of the Financial Services Authority, issued his final report with recommendations for the comprehensive reform of the scandal-ridden LIBOR setting process. Read more
The massive flaws in the method of setting Libor and similar rates are probably familiar to most FTAV readers by now — as are the challenges of coming up with a better replacement.
The review led by new FSA chief Martin Wheatley set out to either “strengthen Libor” or “find an alternative to Libor”. Read more
Here’s another addition to the canon of Libor-related conversations.
A former RBS employee is suing the bank for wrongful dismissal after the bank fired him last year for allegedly participating in Libor-fixing. Tan Chi Min, the ex-employee in question, was the bank’s Singapore-based head of delta trading for Asia. Read more
The Treasury Committee has let loose some letters between its chairman, MP Andrew Tyrie, and the former chief executive of the FSA Hector Sants. The subject matter of the correspondence concerns the original approval by the FSA of Bob Diamond appointment as CEO of Barclays back in 2010.
The freshly released content (see below) provides confirmation that the FSA caveated its approval of Diamond with a warning that it could change its mind if there was an adverse outcome from the Libor investigation. Read more
John Mann, the battler from Bassetlaw, is back with the results of his very own banking inquiry.
The Labour MP set up the alternate inquiry after expressing his displeasure at the omission of fellow committee member Andrea Leadsom and his good self from the specialist Libor inquiry because they were “too outspoken”. The words “whitewash” and “farce” also made an appearance: Read more
By now everyone is well aware of the flaws associated with the Libor-setting process. As yet, however, no alternative has been deemed full-proof enough to replace it.
The search for a better system, however, is on. Read more
Click to enlarge:
It’s the product of all those Select Committee hearings, including appearances by Messrs. Diamond and Tucker. It is only a preliminary report. But it does not have kind words for the authorities who failed to stop the attempted manipulation of Libor before and during the financial crisis. (Barclays management is of course completely coruscated.) As jaded as we’ve all become by the Libor scandal, it’s pretty damning. Read more
Ever wondered just how many Libor rates are kinda… more or less… fictional? In the sense that sure, maybe a bank “could” borrow there, but they don’t tend to.
The initial discussion paper of the Wheatley Review of Libor, has some nice graphics on exactly this topic. Read more
You’ll have read a preview of this here, but the plan of action for reforming or replacing the London Inter Bank Offered Rate has now been mapped out by the incoming boss of the Financial Conduct Authority, Martin Wheatley, is now out.
Don’t get too excited. Read more
… with their 2012 interims.
The TL;DR version goes like this: Read more
The bank beat expectations with an adjusted profit before tax of £4.2bn, cut its eurozone exposures, set aside £450m to compensate small and medium-sized businesses that were mis-sold interest rate hedging products and said sorry again… which was nice.
From the statement: Read more
warning update from Deutsche Bank on Tuesday (flashes via Reuters):
DEUTSCHE BANK AG PROVIDES PRELIMINARY UPDATE ON SECOND QUARTER 2012 RESULTS: COSTS IMPACTED BY CURRENCY MOVEMENTS Read more
On the surface, the story around Libor is relatively easy to understand, hence easy to write something about. All one needs to reel readers in is a big, flashy headline number. Or so goes the theory…
Unfortunately, there aren’t any easy numbers to hand. This has not, however, stopped people from finding some figures to abuse. Read more