The 5 biggest settlements on interbank rate rigging

Many banks have been found guilty of interbank rate rigging, but these five in particular had to pay a hefty price for their wrongdoings


1. UBS

A logo of Swiss banking giant UBS is seen on a building in Zurich

UBS is by far the bank that has paid the biggest fine for interbank rate rigging, since the first investigation into Libor manipulation began in 2011. On December 19, 2012, the Swiss bank agreed to pay regulators $1.52bn ($500m to the US Department of Justice, $700m to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), $259m to the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) and $64m to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) after investigations revealed that UBS traders had conspired to manipulate the Libor rate as well as the Japanese Yen Libor, in addition to colluding with other panel banks.

2. RBS


Over two settlements in February and December 2013, Scottish banking group RBS was fined a total of $1.14bn for successfully manipulating the Euribor, Libor, Yen Libor, and the Swiss franc Libor. The bank paid $530.6m to the European Commission, $137m to the UK FSA, $325m to the US CFTC and $150m to the US Department of Justice after pleading guilty to felony wire fraud, colluding with other banks to manipulate the interest rates, as well as continuing misconduct after a CFTC probe into the matter.

3. Rabobank


Utrecht-headquartered Rabobank settled a $1.07bn fine in October 2013 after UK regulator, the FSA, said it had found more than 500 instances of attempted Libor manipulation. The US CFTC also said that the bank had lacked internal controls and ignored conflicts of interest amongst traders. As such, the bank paid $475m to the CFTC, $325m to the US Justice Department, $170m to the FSA and $96m to the Dutch public prosecutor’s office.

4. Deutsche Bank


In December 2013, Deutsche Bank was ordered to pay a fine of $984m to the European Commission, for colluding to manipulate the Euribor and Libor interest rates. Recently, the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has sued Deutsche Bank along with 15 other banking groups for manipulation, which the regulator said caused “substantial losses” to 38 US banks, which became insolvent during and after the 2008 financial crisis.

5. Societe Generale


The fifth greatest interbank rate rigging fine belongs to France’s Societe Generale after it admitted to manipulating the Euribor and paid $604.7m to the European Commission in December 2013. SocGen is also among the 16 banks sued by the FDIC. So far, financial institutions have paid about $6bn to resolve criminal and civil claims in the US and Europe that they manipulated benchmark interest rates.