(NEW YORK) — Regulators in the U.S. and U.K. have reached a settlement with Barclays, the world’s third largest bank, over allegations that it tried to manipulate worldwide interest rates for its own financial gain, ABC News has confirmed.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday that U.K.-based Barclays tried to influence something called the LIBOR rate — the worldwide benchmark for interest rates — for a period of years dating back at least until 2005.
The London Interbank Offered Rate is supposed to reflect the rate at which top banks in London lend to each other. It is used in the U.S. and other nations to set rates for student loans, mortgage rates, credit cards and car loans.
Barclays reached separate settlements with the CFTC, DOJ, and the British agency FSA, the Financial Services Authority in England. More than $450 million in fines were levied, including $160 million to the DOJ.
Emails investigators found shows traders inside Barclays wrongfully contacted the division of the bank that influences interest rates. The wrongful conduct is said to have happened on an almost daily basis at times.
As a part of the settlement, Barclays will be required to cease and desist from further similar activity.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Parija Kavilanz, CNN
Paul R. La Monica, CNN