Barclays fined $452 mln in rate manipulation probe

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The Barclays bank logo is pictured in central London in January.

Barclays bank is to pay $452 million in fines following a probe into suspected manipulation by several banks of key markets for Libor and Euribor interest rates, the bank revealed on Wednesday.

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond said that in view of this, he and other senior executives at the bank would forego their annual bonuses due for work in 2012.

The Libor and Euribor rates are benchmark reference rates that indicate the interest rate which banks charge when lending to each other. They are fundamental to the operation of both British and international financial markets, the British Financial Services Authority said.

The FSA's acting director of enforcement and financial crime, Tracey McDermott, said Barclays' misconduct had been "serious, widespread and extended over a number of years."

She added: "The integrity of benchmark reference rates such as LIBOR and EURIBOR is of fundamental importance to both UK and international financial markets."

The FSA said that it was continuing "to pursue a number of other significant cross-border investigations" related to this area.

"Barclays co-operated fully during the FSA's investigation and agreed to settle at an early stage. The firm qualified for a 30 percent discount under the FSA's settlement discount scheme. Without the discount the fine would have been £85 million," it added.

Barclays said that it will pay fines of £290 million ($452 million, 362 million euros) to British and US authorities.

It had agreed settlements over "an industry-wide investigation into the setting of interbank offered rates across a range of currencies."

The bank said: "In connection with these resolutions, Barclays has agreed to pay total penalties of £290 million."

The agreements had been reached with the British Financial Services Authority, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the United States Department of Justice Fraud Section.

Diamond said: "To reflect our collective responsibility as leaders, Chris Lucas, Jerry del Missier, Rich Ricci and I have voluntarily agreed with the board to forego any consideration for an annual bonus this year."

In a separate statement, the Financial Services Authority said its own fine totalled a record "£59.5 million for misconduct relating to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR)."

It added: "This is the largest fine ever imposed by the FSA."

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