ICAP halves top exec bonuses after Libor settlements

LONDON, June 10 Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:22pm EDT

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LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) - British interdealer broker ICAP halved bonus payments for top executives in its last financial year, partly to reflect the impact of an $87 million fine it paid in 2013 for benchmark interest rate fixing, the company said on Tuesday.

In its annual report ICAP said its remuneration committee had "considered at length" the impact of the settlements with Britain's Financial Conduct Authority and the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Committee over allegations that some employees attempted to manipulate Libor (the London interbank offered rate) - a key interest rate - should have on compensation.

In April, three of its former employees were charged in Britain with running a four-year scheme to rig yen Libor.

It said the fine, coupled with its failure to meet its target for full-year profit before tax, triggered its decision to cut the bonus pool for executive directors by 50 percent.

ICAP last month reported that full year profit before tax fell 4 percent to 272 million pounds ($457 million) for the year to March 31.

Chief Executive Michael Spencer's pay, including salary and bonus award, fell almost 49 percent to 2.2 million pounds, versus 4.3 million pounds in 2013, according to the report.

ICAP, which like rival Tullett Prebon matches buyers and sellers of bonds, was told earlier on Tuesday by the European Commission that it might have broken antitrust rules by taking part in cartels that helped rig rates.

The warning gives ICAP a last chance to mount its legal defence in what could be one of the final chapters of the wider Libor investigation.

In response, the broker denied that it had violated European competition law and vowed to defend itself.

ICAP, which refused to settle the European case in December, could face penalties of up to 10 percent of its global turnover if found guilty. ($1 = 0.5956 British Pounds) (Reporting by Clare Hutchison, editing by David Evans)

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