BRITAIN: ‘ Senior Banker Admits Conspiring to Defraud by Manipulating the LIBOR Rate’

#AceFinanceNews – London) – October 07 – A senior banker from a UK bank has admitted conspiring to defraud over manipulating the Libor lending rate.

The banker, who can not be named for legal reasons, is the first person in the UK to plead guilty to the offence.

Two men have already pleaded guilty in the US to fraud offences linked to the rigging of Libor, for years the benchmark by which trillions of pounds of financial contracts are based.

The case arose from the Serious Fraud Office‘s (SFO) investigations.

It began looking into Libor manipulation in 2012 after it emerged that it was being widely abused by leading banks to manipulate rates in their favour.

The SFO’s investigation continues and 11 other individuals stand charged and await trial.

Seven banks and brokerages have settled regulatory allegations of interest rate rigging in the UK and the US after global investigations.

So far, 17 men have been charged with fraud-related offences.

Last month, Lloyds Banking Group dismissed eight staff members following an investigation into the behaviour of its rate setters.

The move follows the bank’s £218m fine in July for “serious misconduct” over the setting of Libor.

Libor – what is it and why does it matter?

Libor, the London inter-bank lending rate, is considered to be one of the most important interest rates in finance, upon which trillions of financial contracts rest, and the exposure of its rigging has shocked many beyond the world of finance. Here, the BBC explains some of the key facts.

  1. 1. What is Libor?
    A global benchmark interest rate used to set a range of financial deals. It is also a measure of trust in the financial system and the faith banks have in each other’s financial health.

    Mortgages
    Loans
    Inter-bank
    lending
    Indicator
    of trust
    Reflects health
    of banks

  2. 2. Why is it important?
    The Libor, or London Interbank Offered Rate, is used to set a range of financial transactions worth an estimated $300 trillion.

    $300,000,000,000,000

    Which is equivalent to approximately four and a half times global GDP

    4.5 globe icons

  3. 3. How is it set?

    Every day a group of leading banks submit rates for 10 currencies and 15 lengths of loan ranging from overnight to 12 months.

    The most important is the three-month dollar Libor. The rates submitted are what the banks estimate they would pay other banks to borrow dollars for three months. This is a simple example of how it works.

    Banks submit their rates 1% 2% 3% 4%
    The top and bottom quartiles are discarded 1%
    2%
    3%
    4%
    An average is calculated of the remainder 2.5% This is Libor

    4. How was it rigged?

  4. By traders

    Since the rates submitted are estimates not actual transactions it’s relatively easy to submit false figures.

    Traders at several banks conspired to influence the Libor by getting colleagues to submit rates that were either higher or lower than their actual estimate.

    Banks

    bank a bank b bank c bank d
    1% 2% 3% 4%
    1%
    2%
    3%
    4%
    2.5% Lower average
    bank b bank c bank d bank a
    2% 3% 4% 5%
    2%
    3%
    4%
    5%
    3.5% Higher average

    Libor and the financial crisis
    At the height of the financial crisis in late 2007, many banks stopped lending to each other over concerns about their financial health with some banks submitting much higher rates than others.

    Barclays was one of those submitting much higher rates, attracting some media attention. This prompted comment that Barclays was in trouble.

    Following much internal debate and a controversial conversation with a Bank of England official, Barclays began to submit much lower rates. You can see this in the graph below which compares the Libor rate with those submitted by Barclays.

    Barclays’ Libor 3-month sterling submissions vs daily Libor fix

    Graph showing difference between libor rate and Barclays' submissions

  5. 5. Consequences

    The Libor scandal has further undermined trust in banks. The deputy governor of the Bank of England called the Libor market a “cesspit”.

    While those paying interest on loans would have benefited from lower Libor rates, savers and investors would have lost out.

    Regulators in Canada, US, Japan, Switzerland, Britain are investigating the rate rigging.

    Lawsuits have been launched by US municipalities, pension funds and hedge funds.

Note: The estimated figure for the value of transactions connected to Libor has been revised down from $800 trillion following new figures in the Wheatley report on 28 September 2012.

Source: Explaining the Libor Scandal Infographics:  

#AFN2014

#britain, #libor, #london

` Bank of England faces growing criticism of its response to possible manipulation of the Foreign Exchange Rates’

#AceFinanceNews (Reuters) – The Bank of England announced an overhaul of the way it works with banks and financial markets on Tuesday as it faced growing criticism of its response to possible manipulation of foreign exchange rates.

Bank Governor Mark Carney answered questions from lawmakers for four-and-a-half-hours, a large part of which was devoted to the Bank’s response to allegations that key currency benchmarks had been rigged.

Carney said a new deputy governor position, responsible for banking and markets, will be created as part of the shake-up.

“One of the first tasks of that individual is that he or she will conduct a root-and-branch review of how we conduct market intelligence,” Carney said.

Details of the new structure will be announced on March 18.

As lawmakers seized on the case to revive their demands tougher oversight of the Bank, Carney stressed the seriousness of the foreign exchange case and compared it to the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal. This resulted in criminal charges against traders, the resignation of Barclays’ chief executive and $6 billion in settlements paid by banks.

“This is as serious as Libor if not more so because this goes to the heart of integrity of markets, and we have to establish the integrity of markets,” Carney told legislators.

The Bank suspended an employee last week as part of its internal investigation into whether staff turned a blind eye to signs of manipulation in the $5.3 trillion-a-day global market, for which London is the main hub.

London Reuters 11 March

#AFN2014

#bank-of-england, #barclays, #libor, #london, #mark-carney, #reuters

Who Is Really Responsible For The Libor Scandal

Who Is Really Responsible For The Libor Scandal

This report issue by the ” Treasury Committee” makes for interesting reading if you have the time! It shows how contradiction after contradiction of evidence given was so easily made to be misinterpreted by the three parties! In their own words and as this extract shows ,we could be led to believe that no one person was responsible or that everyone was aware and thus was responsible!

EXTRACT:

The evidence that Mr Tucker, Mr Diamond and Mr del Missier separately gave about this manipulation describes a combination of circumstances which would excuse all the participants from the charge of deliberate wrongdoing. If they are all to be believed, an extraordinary, but conceivably plausible, series of miscommunications occurred.

This was unambiguous to say the least and told us nothing more than we already did not know!

Personally l believe the connection goes back a lot further and a lot more must be revealed before we are able to know, where it started.          

#banking, #barclays, #libor, #report, #treasury-committee

The Truth Behind Barclay’s Fall From Grace

Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401K 2012)

Barclays

Barclays (Photo credit: bbodien)

Lehman Brothers Rockefeller centre

Lehman Brothers Rockefeller centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For anyone following my posts you may or may not be aware of my background in finance. The fact is l spent 30 years man and boy starting at the bottom,collecting door to door.Eventually rising to the so-called echelons to provide finance all over the world. The fact is it was as corrupt at the bottom as it was at the top when l exited in 1996, with years of knowledge, but a very disillusioned man. Having suffered one breakdown, a bankruptcy with all but the clothes l stood up in and no real friends.Well none l could really rely on, when l was no longer wealthy!

When l reflect on what l gained it was simply knowledge of how this financial world, has become bolted together, pound by pound and dollar by dollar. Of course do not forget the Euro, as if we could as we are plunging towards an abyss daily, as crisis after crisis are revealed.

Anyway this is not about me but about a bank that has been caught out with their lack of moral’s, an old word lost very much in translation as meaning lacking in moral fibre. As the whole reason for banking is to look after other people’s money.Not to blatantly abuse their position and become no longer guardians of our money, but able to risk,gamble and basically do anything to make profit for their peers and in return gain massive bonuses that run into millions. Then when things get tough for everyone else they realign interest rates called the LIBOR rate to enable people to pay higher interest rates on their borrowings and increase their bonuses even more.

You see l it was and will be proven that these bankers not one but many are complicit in their manipulation of the inter-bank lending rate and it is simply ORDINARY PEOPLE as in the word ORDINARY in Libor, who are the losers,not the bankers they will survive.

Anyway here is an extract from a of   Supplementary information regarding Barclay’s settlement with the Authorities
respect of their investigations into the submission of various interbank offered rates

The structure of the material that follows is intended to provide a framework through which to interpret the various events. To aid that, it also includes:

 A chronology covering the four issues examined by the investigating authorities. This is important to avoid the issues being conflated and confused. It is particularly important to recognise that the trader conduct was separate from the conduct during the credit crisis and characterised differently by the Authorities. The actions of the traders were regarded as an attempt to manipulate ultimate reference rates. The actions of Barclays during the credit crisis were not.
 A timeline summary of the principal documented contacts between Barclays and the Authorities during the financial crisis period relating to LIBOR submissions. We believe that this chronology shows clearly that our people repeatedly raised with regulators concerns arising from the impact of the credit crisis on LIBOR setting over an extended period.
 A graph showing our 3 month USD LIBOR submissions relative to others during periods of the crisis and the occasions on which our submissions were excluded from the rate setting process as too high.

The Investigation

The bank has conducted an exhaustive internal investigation over more than three years supported by external counsel. The bank has reviewed 22 million documents from over 200 custodians, over 1 million audio files and conducted more than 75 interviews. The results of the reviews were shared with the Authorities, who in turn made their own requests for documents and interviews.
In total, the bank has invested nearly £100m to ensure that no stone has been left unturned. The bank’s exceptional level of cooperation was expressly recorded by each of the Authorities, and was described by the DOJ as “extraordinary and extensive, in terms of the quality and types of information provided” and ”the nature and value of Barclay’s cooperation has exceeded what other entities have provided in the course of this investigation.” That cooperation has led to Barclay’s being the first to reach resolution of these issues. It ironic that there has been such an intense focus on Barclay’s alone, caused by our being first to settle in the midst of an industry-wide, global investigation.

Disciplinary Action

Many of the individuals concerned in the trader conduct, in particular, are in fact no longer with the bank. For certain individuals that remain, we took action to withhold bonus payments pending the outcome of the investigation. Now that the investigation is complete, and the full Barclays facts known, as we advised the Authorities, we are conducting a review of each individual’s conduct to assess their accountability and to determine appropriate action. The full range of tools will be made available within this review.

29 October 2008 Communication from Bank of England
During October 2008, in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, when liquidity conditions had tightened acutely, Barclay’s raised its US Dollar LIBOR submissions more significantly than other panel members. In the month of October 2008, in particular, Barclay’s US Dollar LIBOR submissions for the 3 month maturity were the highest or next highest of the panel on every single day of the month and therefore excluded from the calculation of LIBOR. Barclay’s did not understand why other banks were consistently posting lower submissions; Barclay’s firmly believed that the other panel members were not, in fact, funding at a lower cost than Barclays, and we were disappointed that no effective action was taken, notwithstanding our having raised these issues with various Authorities during the whole financial crisis period as outlined in the attached timeline.
As one would expect, Barclay’s (including Bob Diamond and Jerry del Missier) was in close contact with the Bank of England and other Authorities about the liquidity crisis generally. On 29 October 2008, Bob Diamond received a call from Paul Tucker, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. The substance of that call was captured by Bob Diamond via a note prepared at the time. A copy of that note is appended to this document; it was circulated to John Varley, then Barclay’s Chief Executive, and Jerry del Missier, then President of Barclay’s Capital.
Subsequent to the call, Bob Diamond relayed the contents of the conversation to Jerry del Missier. Bob Diamond did not believe he received an instruction from Paul Tucker or that he gave an instruction to Jerry del Missier. However Jerry del Missier concluded that an instruction had been passed down from the Bank of England not to keep LIBORs so high and he therefore passed down a direction to that effect to the submitter.
There was no allegation by the Authorities that this instruction was intended to manipulate the ultimate rate. The bank’s submissions had consistently been excluded from the LIBOR calculation. Moreover the instruction became redundant in a matter of days as market conditions improved.

The FSA investigated Jerry del Missier personally in relation to these events and closed the investigation without taking any enforcement action.

Ongoing legal constraints
Barclay’s welcomes the Treasury Committee’s enquiry into these matters and the opportunity for Bob Diamond and others, including Non-Executive Directors, to provide Barclay’s perspective on these issues directly to you. In that regard, it is important that the Committee understand that, in certain areas, Bob Diamond’s evidence will necessarily be subject to some constraints.
Firstly, the bank currently has a process underway to assess what action may be necessary in respect of individuals involved. As much as possible, the bank must respect the confidentiality of the individuals concerned whilst processes remain outstanding. There are also ongoing criminal investigations and legal proceedings.
Secondly, as a result of him being a witness to events around the credit crisis, the direct involvement of Bob Diamond (as well as some other members of senior management) in the conduct of this investigation was extremely limited and he did not receive substantive reports of the investigation. This is normal Bank procedure for such investigations. Bob Diamond first received copies of the settlement documents on Friday, 20 June, 2012.
Apart from those areas in which he was directly involved, Bob Diamond’s answers may be based on briefings since receipt of the settlement documents on some quite complex factual issues occurring over a number of years.
It may therefore be necessary for Barclay’s to revert to the Committee in writing on particular points. If this is necessary, Barclay’s will ensure that the information you require is provided wherever possible and as quickly as possible.

Culture

Barclay’s is proud of the service that we provide our customers and clients; and the benefit that we bring through that to the communities in which we live and work.

The traders’ behaviours captured within the settlement documents are not representative of the values and standards to which the vast majority of the 140,000 people who work at Barclay’s operate every day. Those colleagues serve with integrity; pride; and the utmost probity. They have been badly let down by the actions of a few.
Barclay’s takes its responsibilities in fixing the issues identified in the investigations seriously; as part of that, we have actively supported the investigating authorities, and, where possible, robust action has or will be taken to hold those responsible to account.

We have a great deal to do to win back public trust – as a bank; and as an industry. Taking clear and immediate actions to ensure accountability is fundamental to that.
Our internal disciplinary process is proceeding rapidly. More generally, the Board has commissioned an independent review of Barclay’s broader business practices. That review will be led by a senior external individual and will both externally publish its findings and develop a mandatory code of conduct for the entire organisation.
This is the start of a long journey. We are determined that we will earn back that trust.
The Committee’s enquiry will be an important part of that process.
Chronology of key issues
A. 2005 to 2009 – Trader requests
 Certain traders sought to manipulate Barclay’s LIBOR submissions by sending requests to submitter. The majority of these were sent during 2005 to Sept 2007 and sporadically in 2008/2009. There were no further requests to submitter after May 2009.
 There was no knowledge by anyone in the bank above desk supervisor level of this conduct at the time. Senior management were not aware.
 Certain instances of these requests were discovered in the latter part of 2009 after the bank launched an internal review of its USD LIBOR submissions following the commencement of an industry-wide investigation concerning USD LIBOR initiated by the CFTC in October 2008. As the investigation widened further requests were identified, including in relation to EURIBOR.
 When discovered, the activities were promptly disclosed to the authorities.
B. Sept 2007 to April 2008 – Credit crisis: Media and market speculation
 During the credit crisis, the bank had concerns about inaccurate press speculation regarding its liquidity caused by the bank’s high LIBOR submissions relative to the lower submissions of other banks.
 During periods of acute market stress in late 2007 and early 2008, Barclay’s USD LIBOR submissions increased relative to those of other banks. The FSA found that Barclay’s 3 month USD LIBOR submissions were within the highest 4 or tied with one of the highest 4 on 89% of occasions between 1 September 2007 and 31 December 2008. Barclay’s high LIBORs came under scrutiny relative to the low LIBORs of other banks.
 Barclay’s did not have a liquidity problem, and senior management were concerned about the unfounded negative perceptions.
 Barclay’s believed that other banks were making LIBOR submissions that were too low and did not reflect market conditions.
 Less senior managers gave instructions to Barclay’s submitter to lower their

LIBOR submissions. The origin of these instructions is not clear.

 The evidence shows that the intent was to protect Barclay’s from the unfounded negative perceptions by bringing Barclay’s LIBORs closer to the pack but not to affect the ultimate rate. The US Dollar LIBOR submissions were still so high, that they were regularly being omitted from the LIBOR calculation (see the attached document Barclay’s LIBOR submissions relative to the panel).
 During this period, Barclay’s was consistently raising concerns with the BBA, questioning why other banks’ LIBOR submissions appeared to be so high compared to those of Barclay’s. Many of these concerns were based upon Barclay’s observations that other banks were making submissions which were lower than levels at which they appeared to be undertaking transactions. Subsequent research by the New York Federal Reserve staff members concluded that banks LIBOR quotes were systematically below their borrowing rates by 39 basis points after the Lehman bankruptcy. Barclay’s own submissions for tenors of 1 month to 1 year LIBOR were higher than actual Barclay’s trades on 97% of the occasions when Barclay’s had actual trades during the financial crisis.
 Barclay’s also raised concerns with the FSA, the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve. The documented occasions on which Barclay’s made such contact are illustrated in the attached document Timeline of regulatory contact.
 The bank first discovered the issues relevant to the period regarding the credit crisis during the early stages of its investigation in 2009 and the bank has since thoroughly investigated and reported to the authorities regularly on these issues.
 The Authorities have not alleged any intention to manipulate the ultimate LIBOR rates as a result of this conduct during the financial crisis period.

C. October 2008 – Credit crisis: Bank of England
 In October 2008, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, liquidity once again rapidly dissipated. Barclay’s increased its USD LIBOR submissions resulting in it being at the top of the pack again.
 During October 2008 Barclay’s was the highest or one of the higher submitter in the substantial majority of the time. Barclay’s US Dollar LIBOR submissions for the 3 month maturity were the highest or next highest of the panel on every single day of the month, and therefore excluded from the calculation of LIBOR.
 As one would expect Barclay’s (including Bob Diamond and Jerry del Missier) was in close contact with the Bank of England and other Authorities about the liquidity crisis generally. There was a call from the Bank of England to Bob Diamond on 29th October 2008. A note of that conversation is attached to this document.
 The content of that conversation was passed to Jerry del Missier.
 Bob Diamond did not think he had received an instruction from Paul Tucker or that he gave an instruction to Jerry del Missier.

 However Jerry del Missier concluded that an instruction had been passed down from the Bank of England not to keep LIBORs so high. He passed down an instruction to that effect to the submitter.
 The intent was not to affect the ultimate LIBOR rate as Barclay’s was regularly being excluded from the calculation.
 This instruction became redundant after a few days as liquidity flowed back into the market.
 Again, the Authorities have not alleged any intention by Barclay’s to manipulate the ultimate LIBOR rates as a result of this conduct during the financial crisis period.
 The FSA investigated Jerry del Missier personally in relation to these events and closed the investigation without taking any enforcement action.

D. Jan 2005 to May 2010 – systems and control issues and compliance failings
 The bank had not anticipated the increased risk around the LIBOR process, generated in periods of very low liquidity. Barclay’s, along with many other market participants, viewed LIBOR as low risk, and the controls which were in place were therefore inadequate.
 As the investigation progressed and findings emerged, systems and controls were enhanced to prevent recurrence.

When you have read my story and there are lots more to be written, also read the extract if like me you can see why the 2008  collapse was really unavoidable, but also if it happened once then with the Euro Zone in disarray. It is only a matter of time before it happens again!

 

#bank-of-england, #barclay, #bob-diamond, #jerry, #john-varley, #libor, #london-interbank-offered-rate, #paultucker