UPDATE 1-Canada Competition Bureau drops yen Libor probe

Fri Jan 3, 2014 6:51pm EST

TORONTO Jan 3 (Reuters) - Canada's Competition Bureau said on Friday it is abandoning a three-year probe into whether global banks colluded to rig the setting of Japanese yen London Interbank Offered Rates (Libor).

"The investigation is being discontinued because the evidence collected was insufficient to justify prosecution," the Ottawa-based watchdog said in a statement, adding that it cooperated with enforcement agencies in numerous jurisdictions at part of its probe.

The investigation, which the bureau said began in early 2011, is one of several by global regulators into whether banks manipulated rates to boost derivatives prices.

The decision to drop the probe comes just a month after European antitrust investigators slapped a record 1.7 billion euro ($2.3 billion) fine on six U.S. and European financial institutions, bringing the tally of penalties related to the rate-rigging scandal to almost $6 billion.

EU regulators have said their probe is ongoing.

The Canadian investigation looked into London-based broker ICAP, as well as Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank , and the Canadian investment banking arms of JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and HSBC.

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