Rabobank has been fined $1.07 billion by the U.S., British and other authorities in criminal and civil penalties for its role in the Libor and Euribor scandal. The Dutch lender is the latest bank to settle Libor and Euribor manipulation charges. The sum it’s paying authorities is the second-largest after the $1.5 billion penalty that UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) (VTX:UBSN) paid to settle the rate-rigging charges.
Rabobank reaches deferred prosecution agreement
According to the agreement, Rabobank will pay $325 million to the U.S. Department of Justice. It will also have to pay $475 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), $170 million to the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. and another $96 million million to Dutch regulators. In an attempt to avoid criminal charges, Rabobank reached a deferred prosecution agreement with regulators. The agreement requires the bank to cooperate with investigators, change its compliance mechanisms, and pledge to avoid any such wrongdoing in the future. Rabobank said it has taken strong disciplinary action since the issue popped up. The lender has strict measures to improve its systems related to benchmark submission processes.
According to U.S. authorities, Rabobank’s derivatives swaps traders asked its employees to make rate submissions that would benefit their trading positions. The rates they submit are used to calculate Libor and Euribor. Rabobank identified 30 employees who were involved in inappropriate practices. Most of those employees are no longer with the lender. The ones who still work at Rabobank have been disciplined, the company said.
Rabobank CEO quits
Following the findings of the investigation, Rabobank CEO Piet Moerland announced his intention to step down, reports Reuters. Moerland said he realizes the sense of indignation that findings of the investigation and the subsequent penalty caused. He apologized on behalf of Rabobank for his firm’s inappropriate behavior. Supervisory board member Rinus Minderhoud will step into his shoes as interim chairman of the company.
Barclays Plc (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) paid $450 million in penalties in June 2012 over the rate-rigging scandal. In February, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (LON:RBS) (NYSE:RBS) also agreed to pay $612 million to settle charges related to Libor scandal. Earlier this month, the Serious Fraud Office in Britain said it has identified 22 potential co-conspirators in the Libor scandal.