UK financial watchdog seeks to fine ex-Deutsche Bank trader -reports

LONDON, June 6 Fri Jun 6, 2014 12:17pm EDT

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LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) - Britain's financial regulator is seeking to fine former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar for his alleged role in trying to fix a benchmark interest rate, media reports said on Friday.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has notified Bittar that it plans to penalise him for allegedly attempting to manipulate the euro interbank offered rate (Euribor), reports by Bloomberg and the Financial Times said, citing sources.

Bloomberg said the potential fine could be around 10 million pounds ($16.8 million), which would make it the largest ever penalty the FCA has imposed on an individual.

A lawyer for Bittar, who left Deutsche Bank in 2011 and now works for hedge fund BlueCrest Capital Management in Singapore, declined to comment. The FCA also declined to comment.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank said the bank is "cooperating with the authorities in a number of regulatory enquiries".

The German financial markets regulator, BaFin, said last year that it wanted to talk to Bittar as part of its investigation into possible manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor) benchmark interest rate.

U.S. and European authorities have to date fined 10 banks and brokerages around $6 billion to settle allegations they rigged Libor and Euribor, and prosecutors have charged 16 men with fraud-related offences.

Deutsche Bank was fined 725 million euros ($988.83 million) by European Union antitrust regulators last year.

($1 = 0.5956 British Pounds) ($1 = 0.7332 Euros) (Reporting by Clare Hutchison, Kirstin Ridley in London and Jonathan Gould in Frankfurt; Editing by Pravin Char)

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