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Nine More Banks Subpoenaed Over Libor

Posted on 26 Oct 2012 by Neilson

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Libor ScandalNine more banks have received subpoenas in connection with a probe into alleged widespread interest-rate manipulation by banks, a person familiar with the investigation said.

The probe, a joint effort by the offices of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, could lead to civil enforcement action related to breaches of antitrust and fraud laws.

The subpoenas, which were issued in August and September but haven't been previously reported, bring the total number of subpoenas in the case to 16. The banks involved in the probe include most members of the panel that helps set the dollar London interbank offered rate.

The investigation by the state prosecutors is part of a global probe, in which more than a dozen federal and other regulators across three continents are looking into allegations that several banks rigged Libor.

The nine banks that received subpoenas in August and September were: Bank of America Corp., Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, AG, Lloyds Banking Group PLC, Rabobank Groep NV, Royal Bank of Canada,  Société Générale, Norinchukin Bank and West LB AG, according to the person familiar with the investigation.

The person confirmed that seven other banks had received subpoenas in the investigation. Information about those subpoenas were made public previously.

Representatives for Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Bank of Tokyo and Norinchukin Bank declined to comment. The other five banks subpoenaed in August and September that hadn't previously been disclosed couldn't be reached for comment. Two of the banks disclosed the subpeonas in financial filings.

The New York-Connecticut Libor investigation focus on the ways Libor rates could have affected investors, state agencies and municipalities that invested in interest-rate swaps tied to the rate to help manage their debt costs. The losses that may have occurred because of rate manipulation could have a direct impact on state finances. Interest-rate investigations are also occurring in other states, including Massachusetts and Florida, the Journal previously reported.

Barclays PLC paid about $450 million to U.S. and U.K. regulators as part of a settlement in which the British bank admitted that executives and traders had manipulated Libor. The deal led to the resignation of the firm's CEO and chairman.