Banks risk fines as high as 10% of their yearly sales for failing to set up adequate safeguards to combat benchmark rigging, under European Union anti-manipulation rules to be presented today.
Bloomberg News reports that Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, will also seek to empower regulators to force banks to take part in some benchmark-setting panels in proposals targeting scandals that began with the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and spread across the financial system.
Benchmarks from oil to foreign exchange are being probed by global regulators as they seek to restore trust in rates undermined by evidence of endemic rigging. Authorities have fined UBS AG, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland about $2.5bn for distorting Libor and other interbank rates. Other firms are under investigation around the world.
Regulators would be able to fine companies as much as $1.3m or 10% of their annual revenue, whichever is greater. National governments will be free to grant regulators even tougher fining powers.
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