EU Lawmakers Ask To Why Banks’ Rate-Rigging Culture Was Unchecked

A panel of European Union lawmakers will ask regulators from three continents today why authorities failed to crack down on a culture of rigging interest rates.

Bloomberg reports that Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, will testify to a European Parliament panel along with Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Masamichi Kono, board chairman of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, in Brussels Monday.

Confidence in Libor, the benchmark interest rate for more than $500 trillion of securities, plummeted following Barclays Plc (BARC)’s admission in June that it submitted false rates. The revelations provoked renewed calls for tougher oversight of the financial system and pushed regulatory and criminal probes of interbank lending rates to the top of the political agenda.

'The culture of the banking industry has not changed and this culture was aided and abetted by regulatory failures', Arlene McCarthy, the Labour lawmaker chairing today’s panel, said in an e-mailed statement.

Barclays was fined $471m, the largest penalties ever imposed by regulators in the U.S. and U.K., after admitting it submitted false London and euro interbank offered rates. Its settlements with the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority, Gensler’s CFTC and the U.S. Department of Justice are the first in an international investigation into whether banks tried to manipulate Libor and other benchmarks.

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EU Lawmakers Ask Why Banks’ Rate-Rigging Culture Was Unchecked

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