RBS may need to plead guilty to criminal charges in US

US authorities might force a division of Royal Bank of Scotland to plead guilty to criminal charges in the US for rigging Libor as part of its settlement for manipulation of the key interest rate according to commentators.

The lender may end up being fined around £500 million by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, though the US was also reportedly looking to pin criminal charges on the bailed-out bank.

It is not yet clear, though, if RBS would agree to any criminality, according to analysts.

Swiss Bank UBS had to plead guilty to felony charges at one of its subsidiaries, UBS Securities Japan as part of its £940 million total fine for rigging rates. US authorities charged UBS Japan with "one count of engaging in a scheme to defraud counterparties to interest rate derivatives trades by secretly manipulating Libor benchmark interest rates".

Entering into a non-prosecution agreement, parent company UBS agreed to pay a fine and "admit and accept responsibility for its misconduct".

Barclays, which was the first bank to be fined, escaped prosecution due to its  "admission of its misconduct, its extraordinary co-operation, its remediation efforts and certain mitigating and other factors".