UBS’s $1.5bn settlement for manipulation of interest rates and criminal charges against two former traders paves the way for additional sanctions in a global investigation of more than a dozen banks and brokers.
Bloomberg reports that UBS settled with U.S., U.K. and Swiss regulators for manipulating rates thousands of times over six years through relationships with multiple banks and brokers. Two traders were charged with conspiracy in a criminal complaint, while UBS’s Japanese affiliate pleaded guilty in the U.S. to felony wire fraud. Hong Kong authorities said Thursday that they’ve started a probe into potential misconduct by the bank.
'UBS sometimes acted alone, sometimes in two-way collusion with at least four other banks and sometimes it violated the law with the assistance of one or more of five inter-dealer brokers', David Meister, head of enforcement at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said in a news conference in Washington.
The UBS settlement is the second in the investigation of global interest rate benchmarks after Barclays Plc (BARC) agreed to pay $471m in June. Regulators have sought information from more than a dozen banks that set rates in the U.S., Europe and Japan that underpin more than $300 trillion in contracts worldwide.
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