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From Securities Regulation Daily, November 13, 2015

U.K. Serious Fraud Office charges first individuals with EURIBOR manipulation

By Joanne Cursinella, J.D.

The British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced its first criminal proceedings against 10 individuals accused of manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR). Six of the individuals were Deutsche Bank employees and the rest were Barclays Bank employees. The SFO made it clear that these were not the only individuals to be charged, only the first.

Underlying activity. LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) and EURIBOR are based on daily estimates of the rates (submissions) at which banks can borrow funds in the inter-bank market. They are fundamental to the operation of both U.K. and international financial markets, including markets in interest rate derivatives contracts. A LIBOR investigation revealed widespread manipulation by multiple banks, including Deutsche Bank and Barclays Bank.

According to the Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), between January 2005 and December 2010, trading desks at Deutsche Bank manipulated its IBOR submissions across all major currencies. This misconduct involved at least 29 bank individuals including managers, traders, and submitters, primarily based in London but also in Frankfurt, Tokyo, and New York.

Deutsche Bank has already been sanctioned by the FCA for the largest fine amount, £227 million ($340 million), for LIBOR and EURIBOR-related (collectively known as IBOR) misconduct. U.S. entities also imposed sanctions.

The defendants are scheduled to make their first appearance at Westminster Magistrates' Court on January 11, 2016. The SFO continues to work with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the United States DOJ in furtherance of its continuing LIBOR/EURIBOR investigations.

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