Lloyds Slams Libor Allegations; Other Banks Remain Tight-Lipped (Repeat)

Robbie Lawther and Josh O'Neill London 4 May 2017

Lloyds Slams Libor Allegations; Other Banks Remain Tight-Lipped (Repeat)

A media report has suggested that a wave of big banks are embroiled in a fresh Libor rigging scandal.

Lloyds Banking Group has hit back at allegations it is involved in a fresh Libor rigging case, saying the claim does not have any “merit and will be contested vigorously".

Legal Business reported earlier today that Lloyds, along with a raft of other big banks including Barclays, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Rabobank Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, are also on the radar of the authorities.

“As the matter is subject to legal action it would be inappropriate to comment, other than to say that we do not believe the claim has any merit and will be contested vigorously,” Lloyds Banking Group said in an emailed statement.

Legal Business said that law firms Macfarlanes, Hogan Levells, and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy are involved in the case. Hogan Levells said it is acting for one of the banks but would not confirm which bank it is representing.

Specifics about the case are unknown at this time.

Libor is the rate at which many of the world’s leading banks lend money to each other. It determines the benchmark reference rate for debt instruments, including government and corporate bonds, mortgages, student loans and credit cards, as well as derivatives such as currency and interest swaps.

The fresh allegations follow a recent Libor investigation, which unveiled a so-called cartel that was active between September 2005 and May 2008, involving a total of seven banks: Barclays, Crédit Agricole, HSBC, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Société Générale.

Legal Business also said the British Banker’s Association, a pan-industry group that has historically been involved in collecting and publishing inter-bank rates, is involved.

British Banker’s Association, Barclays Group and UBS offered no comment. 

RBS and Rabobank Group did not respond to request for comment prior to publication. 

This publication has contacted Macfarlanes for a statement and will update in due course.

Milbank declined to comment.

Banks are repeatedly under pressure to manage an increasing workload of compliance, in addition to weighing up the often expensive legal costs of cases filed. Banks also risk having their share prices hurt as cases like this frequently deal hefty blows to their reputations. 

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