Lloyds nears deal to settle Libor investigation -WSJ

LONDON, July 15 Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:42am EDT

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. and British regulators are nearing a deal with Lloyds Banking Group to resolve investigations into the bank's alleged attempts to manipulate benchmark interest rates, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday.

The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said settlement talks had accelerated recently and regulators are hoping to announce a deal in the next few weeks.

It said negotiations between Lloyds and regulators were still in progress and the size of the financial penalty that Lloyds is likely to pay was not clear.

Lloyds is 25 percent owned by the British government after a taxpayer bailout and would join several other banks to be fined or to settle allegations of attempted rigging of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and other benchmark rates.

A Lloyds spokesman said: "As we have disclosed, Lloyds Banking Group continues to receive requests for information from a number of government agencies with regard to their investigations into interbank offered rates (including LIBOR). We are co-operating with those investigations. If required the group would update the market as appropriate."

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)