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UBS To Pay $68M, Multi-State Settlement For Artificially Manipulating Interest Rates

UBS Photo Credit: Urbanrenewal via Wikimedia Commons

A multinational bank has agreed to a multi-million, multi-state settlement for artificially manipulating interest rates, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced.

Underwood announced on Friday that UBS has agreed to a 40-state $68 million settlement for fraudulent conduct involving the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), by “misrepresenting the integrity of the LIBOR benchmark.”

According to Underwood, LIBOR is a benchmark interest rate that affects financial instruments worth trillions of dollars and has a far-reaching impact on global markets and consumers.

“Manipulative or fraudulent conduct that undermines the integrity of our financial markets will not be tolerated," she said. “Our office is committed to holding financial institutions accountable for their misconduct.”

The Attorneys General allege that “UBS misrepresented the integrity of the LIBOR benchmark by concealing, misrepresenting, and failing to disclose that UBS at times made USD LIBOR submissions to avoid negative publicity and protect the reputation of the bank and that UBS made Yen LIBOR submissions to benefit its derivative trading positions.”

Underwood noted that, “as a result of its fraudulent conduct, UBS made millions in unjust gains when government entities and not-for-profit organizations entered into swaps and other financial instruments with UBS without knowing that UBS and other banks on the USD-LIBOR-setting panel were manipulating their LIBOR submissions.”

With the latest settlement, states have now collected nearly $500 million in payments from four banks for wrongful conduct. Most of that money has already been distributed to state and local governments. 

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