British financial services giant Barclays Bank Plc has been imposed a fine amounting £290 million ($452 million) by the UK and the US regulators for manipulating the London interbank offered rates (Libor) and the Euro interbank offered rate (Euribor) during the four-year period starting from 2005.
The Libor and Euribor are benchmark interest rates fundamental to the operation of global financial markets. They directly influence the value of trillions of dollars of financial transactions on a daily basis between banks and other financial institutions as well as public lending.
The matter was under joint investigation by the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA), the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Barclay's delinquency relates to the setting of the Libor and Euribor taking into account requests from interest rate derivatives traders, and also influencing the Euribor submissions of other banks involved in the rate setting process.
Barclays was also charged for deliberately reducing its Libor submissions during the global economic crisis for safeguarding the bank's reputation from negative market and media perceptions about its financial condition.
The lender failed to have adequate systems and controls in place for its Libor and Euribor submissions until June 2010.