UBS and JPMorgan are among at least four banks in talks to settle a third European Union probe into derivatives linked to benchmark rates such as Libor, according to three people familiar with the case.
Bloomberg reports that Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Scotland are also negotiating an accord with EU antitrust officials related to the Swiss franc Libor rate, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. EU cartel settlements typically involve an admission of liability and fines.
Total penalties for rigging benchmarks linked to the London interbank offered rate reached $6bn in December when the EU fined six companies, including Deutsche Bank, a record $2.3bn. The industry remains the subject of several EU cases including the Swiss franc probe, a preliminary investigation into potential manipulation of foreign-exchange markets and another case involving credit derivatives trading.
'I think it’s increasingly clear now that all sides in these investigations are keen to reach some kind of a deal', said Richard Reid, a research fellow for finance and regulation at Scotland’s University of Dundee. 'The banks see it in their interests to try to reduce the level of regulatory uncertainty by drawing a line under such matters and concentrate on rebuilding their franchises'.
To access the complete Bloomberg article hit the link below: