PARIS Feb 22 The European Commission wants to
conclude its probe into the fixing of lending benchmarks Euribor
and Libor this year and has offered several banks under
suspicion the possibility of a settlement to avoid fines,
sources familiar with the investigation said.
A bank suspected of rigging a benchmark could settle the
case against it by committing to change the procedures for
making its contribution, for example, said the sources.
If the banks were to agree to such a settlement, it would
allow the EU's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia to wrap up his
investigation as soon as this year.
"Almunia wants decisions on the cases by the end of the
year," said one of the sources.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, writing by John O'Donnell)