Deutsche Bank has agreed to a $220 million settlement with 45 states, including California, to resolve claims that it manipulated the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday that state governmental and nonprofit entities that invested with Deutsche Bank will receive approximately $29 million as part of the deal.
“During the financial crisis, Deutsche Bank was consumed with increasing its profits at the expense of Californians,” Becerra said in a statement. “They manipulated interest rates hoping to turn a quick profit. In the process, they left government entities and non-profits in California hanging out to dry. This conduct is unacceptable and it is illegal. Banks and financial institutions do not get to play fast and loose with the law.”
Deutsche Bank, along with more than a dozen other banks, helped set the interest rates for trading of the U.S. dollar and other currencies. The interest rate affects trillions of dollars worth of financial instruments.
From 2005 through the global financial crisis, investigators said they found Deutsche Bank defrauded trading partners by failing to disclose that the bank made false or misleading LIBOR price submissions, had traders who attempted to influence other banks’ traders to benefit Deutsche Bank’s position, and was aware that submissions were being falsified by other banks as well.
A spokesman for the bank said in a statement that this resolves the bank’s last U.S. regulatory inquiry related to LIBOR.
New York and California led the investigation, according to Becerra’s office. Of the $220 million agreed to by Deutsche, more than $213 million will be made available to entities that had swap and other investments with the bank. The remainder of the settlement balance will cover investigation and other expenses.
The settlement is the second related to state prosecutors’ specifically investigating LIBOR manipulation. Last year, Barclays agreed to a $100 million settlement with California and the other states that are part of the investigation working group. A number of other banks are still being investigated, according to the California AG’s office.
The settlement is 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.