Barclays Bank has been fined £59.5m, the largest fine ever by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), for misconduct relating to the Libor and Euribor rates. These are the rates at which lend to each other in the UK and in Europe respectively.
The bank was fined a further $360m (£230.5) by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
According to the FSA, Barclays’ misconduct included “making submissions as part of the Libor and Euribor setting process that took into account requests from Barclays’ interest rate derivatives traders” who were “motivated by profit.”
The authority also accused the bank of trying to “influence the Euribor submissions of other banks contributing to the rate setting process.”
Barclays also came under fire for “reducing its Libor submissions during the financial crisis” to avoid negative comment from the media.
Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA, said:
“Barclays’ misconduct was serious, widespread and extended over a number of years. The integrity of benchmark reference rates such as Libor and Euribor is of fundamental importance to both UK and international financial markets. Firms making submissions must not use those submissions as tools to promote their own interests.”