UBS says gave no guidance on possible Libor fine

ZURICH Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:41pm EDT

A Switzerland national flag flies in front of the logo of Swiss bank UBS at the company's headquarters in Zurich April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A Switzerland national flag flies in front of the logo of Swiss bank UBS at the company's headquarters in Zurich April 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS UBSN.VX (UBS.N) said on Friday it had not given guidance to brokerage analysts on possible fines the Swiss lender could pay to settle allegations it had manipulated a key interest rate.

Morgan Stanley had said on Thursday that a UBS executive had suggested it did not appear to face "material" fines over the global rate-rigging scandal, but on Friday the U.S. bank put out a second note to say it was not UBS policy to comment on litigation.

"UBS confirms that it did not make any comments on the materiality of any potential Libor settlement," a spokesman for the Swiss bank said, referring to the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate at the heart of global investigations.

Morgan Stanley analyst Huw van Steenis wrote on Friday: "It is UBS policy not to make any statements on outstanding litigation other than what it publishes in its financial statements. We want to ensure investors note this."

The speed with which both Morgan Stanley and UBS addressed the issue highlighted its sensitivity after British lender Barclays (BARC.L) agreed to pay fines of $450 million to U.S. and British authorities to settle last month.

In the note on Thursday, Morgan Stanley estimated that 11 global banks linked to the Libor scandal could face $14 billion in regulatory and legal settlement costs through 2014.

(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)