Many have suspected for years that perhaps some high profile banks have been involved in corruption with market rigging, and in 2012 many felt vindicated after the LIBOR scandal was exposed. Libor is a global benchmark interest rate that is used to set financial deals that are worth hundreds of trillions of dollars. And it has been alleged that a variety of banks had conspired in order to submit false figures. And now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Second Circuit in Manhattan says that potential lawsuits over the scandal could possibly bankrupt many highly-established multinational banks.
Since the scandal first broke, several banks have been fined in regards to the allegations, like Barclays Bank, JP Morgan, and others. It is said that at least 16 multinational banks are now facing lawsuits in the U.S. over their alleged manipulation in the market. U.K. Bank Barclays has already plead guilty to market rigging in 2012 and they paid US $455 million as a result, along with the CEO resigning. U.K. Prosecutors allege that numerous traders were involved from various banks and that together they conspired to rig the market. Along with Barclays, Citibank has also agreed to pay $425 million as well over allegations of inter-bank rate rigging. Thus far, at least five multinational banks have paid over $5 billion collectively in regards to the LIBOR accusations.
Aside from Barclays and Citibank, some of the other banks that are said to be involved are: Bank of America, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and others. It is expected that many will end-up settling because if they don't and they take the case to court, these lawsuits could eventually bankrupt RBC and these other banks. For now, a spokesperson for RBC has said that the Second Circuit decision doesn't indicate any findings against RBC in a court of law and they plan to fight to defend themselves. They also claim that no government body or regulator agency has called for any proceedings or punishments against RBC over the LIBOR accusations. Over the last several years, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Swiss Bank, and Barclays, have each been fined by financial regulators for the wrongdoing.
So where is all that money, the hundreds of billions that the banks have paid as punishment over the scandal, going exactly? "To the government, not to the innocent lenders who overpaid because LIBOR was over-calculated," says Judge Andrew Napolitano. "You're talking about millions of loans and trillions of dollars," in this LIBOR scandal, and "this may very well be one of the largest instances of bank-orchestrated fraud in the history of the world," says Napolitano.
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