The German Banking regulator BankFin made a statement today confirming that it had found no evidence of German bank involvement in last year’s Libor scandal. The regulator said it could no find evidence tying Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) and its contemporaries to the rate fixing scandal, and said that the scandal was probably the work of individual traders, rather than a concerted efforts by banking institutions.
The Libor scandal erupted last year when information emerged that London banks in charge of the base interest rate had been manipulating it in order to profit from trades. The investigation of the scandal extended to other base interest rates, including Euribor, which Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) is involved in setting.
The problems with the setting the Libor rate arose from its position as a powerful force in determining interest rates around the world, and the method of setting it, which involved a small number of traders in a room agreeing on a number with very little oversight from regulators. The system was, it now appears, prone to massive corruption and the traders involved took full advantage of their power.
Swiss Bank UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) has already reached a settlement with regulators in the Libor scandal. Settlements with that firm and two British banks, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) (AMS:RBS) totaled $2.6 billion so far. Investigations into some of the other firms, including Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB), that were involved in setting the rates is continuing.
Some regulators thought that Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) was likely to be the next firm indicted in the Libor scandal, but the company appears to have dodged that bullet, at least for the time being. There is no assurance that new information on the firm’s activity will not arise in the coming months, and restart the investigation.
The Libor scandal is one of the reasons that the European Union is forcing its banks to cap the bonuses of their employees. Regulators on the continent want to ensure that the impetus to commit crimes like these are no longer there on a structural level.
The news seemed to have little effect on Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) stock on today’s market. The firm’s stock finished down a fraction on the NYSE. Since the year began, shares in the German bank have lost nearly 5 percent of their value as the company deals with increasing regulatory pressure and continues to try to recover from a poor 2012.