Fines by US regulators and law enforcement agencies for interest rate and Forex manipulation totalled £8bn in the last four years – dwarfing penalties issued by the European Commission, EU member states and Switzerland.
Fines by US regulators and law enforcement agencies for interest rate and Forex manipulation totalled £8bn in the last four years – dwarfing penalties issued by the European Commission, EU member states and Switzerland. The figures were compiled by City law firm Collyer Bristow.
‘The US system is much tougher on those that are found to transgress,’ Stephen Rosen, Collyer Bristow’s head of banking and financial disputes, said.
The US figure represent fines issued to 12 banks. In the UK 11 banks were fined £2bn, while the combined figure for the European Commission, Switzerland and the Netherlands was even more lenient, fining 10 banks and brokers £1.4bn. Interest rate manipulation covered LIBOR, EURIBOR, TIBOR and Yen LIBOR.
US fines punished European-domiciled and listed banks and brokers disproportionately, the research concluded. These ‘felt the wrath of the US enforcement agencies and regulators’ facing ‘noticeably high levels of individual censure,’ Rosen added. ‘Some say that this reflects a tougher attitude taken by US authorities to European banks than applied to US entities.’
This was evidenced by the fact that nine of those fined were European, six of them British including HSBC, RBS, Lloyds and Barclays. At £723m, Barclays received the highest fines in the UK and US. The bank also paid out group settlements of £4.67bn.
Collyer Bristow tracked fines from June 2012, the date of the first fines levied for market manipulation, and will now update figures as new fines are known, published on its ‘Global Benchmark Manipulation Tracker’, an online tool made public today.