Deutsche Bank has agreed to a $220 million, 45-state settlement over its role in the manipulation of the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office announced.
Deutsche, along with more than a dozen other banks, helped set the LIBOR interest rates for trading U.S. dollars and other currencies, but bankers were accused of rigging the system in their favor. The LIBOR rate was tied to trillions of dollars worth of financial instruments but is being replaced because of the scandal.
From 2005 through the global financial crisis, investigators say they found the bank unlawfully defrauded counterparties by failing to disclose it made false or misleading LIBOR price submissions, had traders who attempted to influence other banks’ traders to benefit Deutsche’s position and was aware that submissions were being falsified by other banks as well.
New York and California led the investigation, and 45 states participated in the settlement announced Wednesday.
Swaps customers didn’t know the interest rate on the dollar was being manipulated.
Deutsche Bank employees improperly made internal requests for LIBOR submissions to benefit Deutsche Bank’s trading positions, Bondi’s office said.
“The LIBOR rates the bank submitted did not reflect the actual borrowing costs of Deutsche Bank and other panel banks,” her office said. “Even though these rates are material terms of LIBOR-referenced transactions, Deutsche Bank employees did not disclose these facts to the governmental and not-for profit counterparties who executed the transactions with the bank.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleged the manipulation defrauded public agencies and others of funds “that otherwise could have been used to benefit New Yorkers.”
The attorneys general acknowledged Deutsche Bank cooperated with the investigation.
A spokesman for the bank said in a statement that this resolves the bank’s final U.S. regulatory inquiry related to LIBOR.
Deutsche Bank agreed in 2015 to a combined $2.5 billion settlement with U.S. and U.K. regulators.
After investigative costs and expenses, the state settlements total more than $213 million. The Florida State Board of Administration is receiving more than $10 million, and other Florida counterparties are receiving a total more than $5 million.
The settlement is the second related to state prosecutors’ specifically investigating LIBOR manipulation. Last year, Barclays agreed to a $100 million settlement with the 45 states that are part of the investigation working group. A number of other banks are still being investigated.
The settlement is also just the latest Deutsche has entered into over LIBOR accusations. In July, it agreed to pay $77 million in an antitrust suit over manipulation allegations related to the Japanese yen interest rate.
The AG’s settlement was announced a day before Deutsche Bank issued its financial results. On Thursday, the bank said third-quarter revenue from trading stocks and bonds was down 30 percent to $1.8 billion compared with an average decline of 15 percent at the five biggest U.S. investment banks.