We'll name and shame bank rate-riggers

Pointing Finger

The names of the U.S. and European banks at the center of a new interest rate-rigging probe will soon be named, Joaquin Almunia, the European Commission's vice-president and competition commissioner told CNBC.

Europe's top competition enforcer, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said the organization will also publish who were "the most creative" institutions in terms of manipulation.

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"We have some more issues in our pipeline...We'll use antitrust instruments that are very powerful as you know in the EU to avoid manipulation of benchmarks," he said.

This comes after a Reuters report on Tuesday said that UBS, Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Scotland are being investigated by EU antitrust regulators for suspected rigging of interest rates linked to the Swiss franc.

The news agency, which cited a source familiar with the matter, said the Commission has been looking into the case for about a year.

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Almunia said he could not disclose who he was investigating but confirmed they were both European and U.S. banks. He also confirmed that the investigation began after whistleblowers contacted the EU in the hope that their own fines would be reduced.

Already hammered by their role in the 2008 financial crisis and the rigging of the key bank rate LIBOR, the global banking sector looks set to take another hit with investigations also continuing into the fixing of foreign exchange.

By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter @mattclinch81

image: © gfairchild

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