Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Lloyds dismisses eight staff over Libor

Lloyds Banking Group has dismissed eight staff members following an investigation into the manipulation of some key interest rates set in London.
The move follows the bank's £218m fine in July for "serious misconduct" over the setting of Libor.
Chair Lord Blackwell said the actions of those responsible for the misconduct were "completely unacceptable".

Lloyds, which is 24.9% owned by the government, said the individuals had also forfeited £3m in unpaid bonuses.

The bank said its remuneration committee would now ensure the outcome of the disciplinary process was "fully and fairly reflected" in other staff bonus payments.

Regulators found that Lloyds manipulated the London interbank offered rate (Libor) for yen and sterling and tried to rig the rate for yen, sterling and the US dollar.

It was also found to have manipulated submissions for another short-term rate linked to the value of UK government debt.

'Highest integrity'
Lloyds said Monday's disciplinary action followed July's fine by the UK-based Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and a US-based trading commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
However, it said it had been unable to take disciplinary action against " a number of individuals" who had already left the bank before the settlements.

Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said the bank was committed to preventing this type of behaviour happening again.

"We are determined to make Lloyds Banking Group a company of the highest integrity and standards," he added.

In July, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the attempted manipulation was "highly reprehensible" and could lead to criminal action against those involved.

Lloyds also said it had shared the outcome of its disciplinary process with City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority and other relevant authorities.

'Fix it higher' In July, the US trading commission said the "unlawful conduct" of Lloyds had "undermined the integrity" of Libor.

It said Lloyds had acted to benefit its trading positions and protect its reputation by manipulating the rate when it was in the process of buying HBOS during the financial crisis.

The commission also released a transcript detailing examples of requests to manipulate the sterling and US dollar Libor rate.

They included an employee from Lloyds telling their counterpart at HBOS: "Oh mate, I always have loads of loans going out at the end of the month so I always try to fix it higher".

The trader added: "They keep calling it lower... I can't work out why it is going down all the time... I will leave it at 67 and I won't go any lower, right?"

A sterling submitter at HBOS responded with: "Yeah".

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