Attorney general slams Barclays amid $100m Libor fine

Schneiderman said Barclays must follow rules, despite how rich and powerful it may be.

Attorney general Eric Schneiderman has slammed Barclays following an investigation into Libor manipulation, which led to a $100 million settlement fine.

Barclays was found to have fraudulently manipulated Libor and other interest benchmarks between 2007 and 2009.

Schneiderman hit out at Barclays, saying: “There has to be one set rules for everyone, no matter how rich or how powerful.”

He added: “And that includes big banks and other financial institutions that engage in fraud or impair the fair functioning of financial markets.”

An investigation found that managers at the UK bank told Libor submitters to lower their submissions to avoid the appearance that it was in financial difficulty.

Barclays apparently did not believe other banks’ Libor submissions reflected true borrowing rates, and so published Libor rates which did not reflect the cost of borrowing funds in the market.

Government entities and not-for-profit organisations were defrauded of millions of dollars due to the manipulation, the investigation said.  

Those affected may be eligible to receive restitution from the contracts with Barclays, from its settlement fund of $93.35 million.

The fine of $100 million will settle the Libor manipulation across 44 states, and the investigation among other institutions is on going.