“It’s very important that we caught these guys,” said Bart Chilton, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, one of the regulators. “Libor may sound like gobbledygook, but it’s the world benchmark for interest rates consumers pay.”
Conflicts arise from the fact that banks both set Libor and use it elsewhere in their businesses to make profits.
Libor is supposed to be a collective representation of the interest rates on short-term loans that banks make to each other. The Libor-setting banks each day tell a central entity how much interest they estimate they would have to pay on such loans.
That entity then eliminates some of the lowest and highest submissions and calculates an average from the remainder. Eighteen banks currently supply data for setting dollar-denominated Libor. According to regulators, Barclays traders sought to skew Libor to benefit their bets. These trades were executed using financial contracts called derivatives that were linked to Libor.
Regulators say they found dozens of communications from 2005 to 2009 in which derivatives traders pressed another group of Barclays employees to try to influence Libor. The British Bankers’ Association, which oversees the standards for calculating Libor, does not allow banks to use interest rates linked to derivatives to determine their Libor submissions.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page