Category Archives: Libor scandal

NYSE Euronext to Take Over Libor

NYSE Euronext to Take Over Libor

The London interbank offered rate is moving across the Atlantic.

Libor, the scandal-tarred benchmark owned by a British banking organization, is being sold to NYSE Euronext, NYX +1.00%the U.S. company that runs the New York Stock Exchange. The deal is the British government’s latest attempt to salvage Libor’s integrity, after multiple banks acknowledged trying to profit by rigging the rate.

While Libor underpins trillions of dollars in financial contracts and generates about £2 million a year in revenue, a person familiar with the deal said the benchmark rate was sold to NYSE for a token £1—a sign of the heavy toll inflicted by the rate-rigging scandal.

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Hedge Funds Among Plaintiffs Suing Over Libor

Investors are racing to U.S. courthouses to sue banks implicated in the Libor rate-fixing scandal, and hedge funds aren’t about the be left out of the potential for billions in payouts.

Hedge funds are among the plaintiffs in the growing number of lawsuits over the scandal. Austrian hedge fund FTC Capital is seeking class-action status for a complaint that seeks damages against banks on the U.S. dollar Libor rate-setting panel, The Wall Street Journal reports. That suit deals with the futures market, with a notional value of more than $560 trillion.

Other investors, including BlackRock and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, are mulling their options.

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Standard Life’s Grimstone Says Libor Scandal Is Hurting London

London’s reputation as a global financial center has been marred by the Libor-rigging scandal, said Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Standard Life Plc (SL/), Scotland’s largest insurer.

He was speaking on Bloomberg TV’s “The Pulse” show with Maryam Nemazee in London.

On London’s reputation after the Libor scandal:

“I’ve been in the financial services for 30 years and I’ve never known a time like this. It’s been terrible. Some of the language people use has been terrible. I’m concerned that the public don’t really understand it. The public talks about hanging bankers. We shouldn’t use words like cesspit to describe the City of London.”

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Recession, Libor, Facebook punish Europe’s banks

(Reuters) – Leading European banks reported dismal profits on Tuesday, blaming everything from the continent’s debt crisis and Spain’s property market crash to Facebook’s disastrous stock market debut.

Within a space of an hour UBS (UBSN.VX) of Switzerland, Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), BBVA (BBVA.MC) of Spain and Austria’s Erste Bank (ERST.VI) delivered the bad news on an industry already beset by investigations into a number of scandals.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s flagship lender, announced it will axe 1,900 jobs under a plan to cut costs by 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) and streamline its business. New co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain said expectations on profitability had moved “closer to our grim scenario”.

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Swiss regulator quizzes Credit Suisse, UBS on Libor

(Reuters) – Swiss regulator FINMA said it is questioning UBS and Credit Suisse in an investigation over possible Libor interest rate rigging.

“We are actively going after information that will enable us to make a judgment on what has happened,” a FINMA spokesman told Reuters on Monday.

The two banks are not under formal investigation as Swiss banks are legally obliged to cooperate with FINMA, which regulates the country’s banks.

Credit Suisse said on July 16 it did not expect a “material” impact from the regulatory probe.

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Shrinking investment bank saps SocGen profit

(Reuters) – French bank Societe Generale’s (SOGN.PA) quarterly profit tumbled 42 percent, hit by losses at its investment bank, which it is shrinking in response to the euro zone crisis, and one-off writedowns on the value of U.S. and Russian units.

Under pressure to strengthen its balance sheet, France’s No. 2 listed bank is more than half way through a plan to slash debt and sell assets at its corporate and investment bank.

Profit at that unit, which has cut back risk since a huge rogue-trading loss in early 2008 hammered its reputation, plunged by 70 percent in the second quarter.

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LETTER: Libor rigging losses another’s gain

David Gleason wrote a remarkable primer on the Libor scandal (Libor a little part of interest rigging, July 26 ) which serves as recommended reading for anyone trying to understand this crisis.

What may confound some readers is what the impact of rigging the Libor rate by a fraction of a basis point translates to in the real world. To add more perspective to this question, we can turn to research done by Morgan Stanley on this question.

It is worth putting into numerical value what the Libor rate is. It is the reference rate for about $350-trillion of financial products. Morgan Stanley estimates that Libor rigging could possibly account for $720m of profit for each of the banks under investigation over a four-year period. The obvious question would be why would banks wilfully turn a blind eye to this? The answer is simple: greed. Compensation as a percentage of investment banks’ revenue is typically 40% to 50% of their profit, and Libor rigging serves this self-interest.

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