RBS' involvement in Libor fixing may be greater than Barclays': MP

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) may be more deeply involved in the Libor fixing scandal than Barclays' which might force the state-owned bank into paying a bigger fine than its UK rival, according to an MP.

John Mann, a Labour MP said, on the Treasury select committee said, banking insiders had suggested RBS's involvement may be "noticeably worse" than Barclays'.

The bank had been fined £290 million in June by US and British authorities for its role in trying to manipulate Libor, which affects the borrowing costs for millions of customers around the world.

Over a dozen banks, including RBS, are being investigated by regulators in the US, Europe and Asia for suspected rigging of the London interbank offered rate (Libor), used for pricing trillions of dollars of financial products.

RBS chief executive Stephen Hester has already warned that the bank would likely face fines and it was thought that Barclays received a reduced fine for settling early.

Mann is asking George Osborne whether he or Treasury officials had been briefed on the issue, and when the FSA inquiry into Libor fixing at RBS began. He said it was not credible that UKFI, representing the main shareholder ie, the taxpayer, was not kept informed of the investigation and it's seriousness. He added, either George Osborne was failing to run the Treasury properly or he was failing to tell parliament what he knew.