Rabobank is facing a fine of more than $440m, says Bloomberg
Dutch lender Rabobank has emerged as the latest banking group to be fined by global regulators in connection with the manipulation of Libor interest rates.
The bank is facing a fine of more than $440m (€336m, £290m) for its role in the scandal, Bloomberg reports. It is expected to reach a settlement with US and UK regulators over claims it tried to rig benchmark interest rates, "four people with knowledge of the investigation" told the news agency.
The fine which is expected to come as early as May could range from the £290m Barclays paid in June to the $612m Royal Bank of Scotland paid earlier this month in connection with the scandal, according to one of Bloomberg's sources.
The non-listed, cooperatively-owned Dutch bank had allegedly attempted to manipulate sterling Libor, dollar Libor, Japanese yen Libor and Euribor in its London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong offices.
Rabobank, which is the second-biggest Dutch lender by balance sheet, is being probed by watchdogs in eight jurisdictions, including the European Union, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland as well as the Netherlands.
Officials from the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have interviewed current and former Rabobank employees, two of the sources told Bloomberg, who added that the talks have ended and the regulators are discussing with the bank's lawyers over the details of a settlement.
The company earlier announced that it had been asked to provide information about the benchmark interest rate setting process in different countries. Between 2008 and 2011, the bank fired four employees over the manipulation of the interbank lending rates.
The London interbank offered rate, known as Libor, and Euribor are Europe's key interest rates, deciding the cost of borrowing between banks, and they decide the pricing of other financial products.
In June last year, Barclays became the first bank to be fined £290m by US and UK authorities for manipulating Libor and Euribor. Following that, Swiss bank UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland were fined £940m and £390m respectively in connection with the same scandal.
Besides, more than a dozen banks and brokerage firms, including JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup are undergoing probes by regulators over the manipulation of benchmark rates.
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