Feb 17 A group of traders and brokers had
successfully managed to manipulate key interbank lending rates
that affect loans around the world, one of the banks being
investigated has told Canadian regulators, the Wall Street
Journal reported on Friday.
Canada's Competition Bureau said in a court filing in Ottawa
that a bank it did not identify has told the agency's
investigators that people involved "were able to move" interest
rates, the paper said.
The "cooperating party" is Swiss bank UBS AG, the
WSJ said, citing people familiar with the situation.
"We don't comment on media speculation," UBS spokesman Peter
McKillop told Reuters.
UBS has said earlier that it has been granted some immunity
by Switzerland's antitrust authority in return for cooperating
with its probe into the potential manipulation of the London
Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor.
No banks or individuals have yet been charged with
wrongdoing, the paper said.
Lawyers acting for the "cooperating bank" told the regulator
that traders at six banks on the yen Libor panel -- Citigroup
, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings,
JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS
-- influenced the rates, the Journal said, citing court
Spokespeople for Citigroup, JPMorgan and Royal Bank of
Scotland declined to comment to Reuters on the Journal report.
Deutsche Bank and HSBC Holdings could not immediately be
reached for comment by Reuters outside regular business hours.
The traders used emails and instant messages to tell each
other whether they wanted "to see a higher or lower yen LIBOR
(rate) to aid their trading position(s)," the paper said, citing
a court filing.
They then "entered into agreements to submit artificially
high or artificially low" quotes, according to the court
documents," the WSJ said, citing court documents.
However, "not all attempts to affect LIBOR submissions were
successful," it added.
The Competition Bureau said late on Monday that is
investigating certain financial firms as part of a widening
global probe into how banks set key interbank lending rates
Canadian regulator said it is investigating whether the
traders also "conspired" with individuals at interdealer broker
firms, the paper said, citing court documents.
Two London-based interdealer brokers ICAP PLC and RP
Martin Holdings Ltd are under investigation, the Canadian
regulator said in the court documents, according to the paper.
Representatives of ICAP and RP Martin declined to comment to
the WSJ, the paper said. They could not be reached outside
business hours by Reuters.
Regulators since late 2010 have been investigating banks
that help set interbank lending rates known as LIBOR and TIBOR
in London and Tokyo, which are used to set interest rates on
hundreds of trillions of dollars of securities.
More than a dozen traders and brokers in London and Asia
have been fired, suspended or put on leave as part of the probe,
the Financial Times reported last week.