UBS Faces LIBOR Manipulation Probe
By Warren Mosler
As previously discussed, the US should outlaw the use of libor by its banking system. It makes no sense to allow US dollar rate setting for our banks to be set overseas by the BBA. Setting our banking system’s dollar rates is the Fed’s responsibility.
And, to further make the point, note the word ‘expect’ in this part from below:
“LIBOR is calculated daily by asking contributing banks the rate at which they expect term funding to be offered between prime banks at 11:00 am London time.”
See more of my proposals here.
March 16 (Reuters) — Swiss bank UBS said it had received subpoenas from U.S. and Japanese regulators regarding whether it made “improper attempts” to manipulate LIBOR rates, the benchmark price for interbank borrowing costs.
“UBS understands that the investigations focus on whether there were improper attempts by UBS, either acting on its own or together with others, to manipulate LIBOR rates at certain times,” the bank said in its annual report on Tuesday.
The Financial Times in its Wednesday edition said regulators, including Britain’s Financial Services Authority, are probing all 16 banks that help the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) set LIBOR rates.
In particular, they are investigating how LIBOR was set for U.S. dollars during 2006-2008, just before and after the financial crisis, the newspaper said, citing sources familiar with the probes.
UBS said it had received subpoenas from the U.S. SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Department of Justice regarding its submissions to the BBA. It has also been ordered to provide information to the Japan Financial Supervisory Agency concerning similar matters.
UBS said it was conducting an internal review and is cooperating with the investigations. It declined to provide any further details.
The SEC declined to comment.
BBA said LIBOR has a straightforward and transparent calculation method which excludes any rates that are significant outliers.
“We observe rigorous standards in our scrutiny and governance of the LIBOR mechanism, and work with the industry to ensure their continued full confidence in one of its most accurate and reliable benchmarks,” it said in a statement.
LIBOR is calculated daily by asking contributing banks the rate at which they expect term funding to be offered between prime banks at 11:00 am London time. A set number of the highest and lowest contributions are discarded and the remaining rates averaged.