Nine More Banks Under Libor Rate-Fix Scrutiny
Nine additional banks have been drawn into accusations of Libor rate-fixing, according to news reports.
It was reported that some of the world's biggest banks, including Britain's Lloyds Banking Group, had been sent subpoenas by two US state attorney generals.
New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and Connecticut's George Jepsen reportedly sent subpoenas to Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Credit Suisse, Rabobank, Royal Bank of Canada, Societe Generale, Norinchukin Bank and West LB.
Lloyds declined to comment about the report to Sky News. Its share price dropped around 1.5% in early trading.
The two US prosecutors have now put 16 banks under scrutiny, after previously launching investigations into Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and UBS.
The US investigators have made requests for both communications and document trails at the banks.
Both American states are examining if the banks colluded to fix interest rates and thereby adversely affecting both investors and borrowers in their jurisdictions.
The banking industry has come under intense pressure over Libor as the inter-bank rate affects more $300trn in global transactions.
Other legal probes into the Libor scandal have been launched in Britain, Japan and Canada over benchmark rate manipulation.
The scandal was exposed last June when Barclays agreed to pay £290m in fines to UK and US regulators over alleged attempts at Libor manipulation at the time of the global financial crisis.
A number of key Barclays executives were forced from office and taint from the scandal spread across the industry and embroiled Bank of England and Cabinet Office executives.
The British Bankers' Association, which was responsible for Libor oversight, has since offered to relinquish the role amid calls for reform.
The FT said: "Unlike US federal prosecutors, Mr Schneiderman is armed with his state's Martin Act, a 1921 New York law considered one of the country's most powerful prosecutorial tools.
"The law allows Mr Schneiderman to investigate anyone doing business in New York and to bring cases without having to show that the accused intended to commit fraud.
"It also allows him to operate across state lines, essentially acting on behalf of investors across the US."