The amount that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will have to pay out in fines due to the bank’s role in the Libor rigging scandal has finally been revealed, and it stands at a massive £390million. This is a big jump from the £290million that Barclays was required to pay, and shows that the publicly-owned bank had a much larger role than many people had thought.
Twenty banks in total have been or are still being investigated over Libor rigging, and the problem has been demonstrated to have spread to other loan-setting rates around the world and through numerous institutions. This announcement is just the latest in a series which damage the banks involved, and the investigations have already been taking place for over a year.
Speaking on the case, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) which were responsible for handing out £87.5million of the fine (the rest made up by US authorities) said that “at least 219 requests for inappropriate submissions were documented – an unquantifiable number of oral requests, which by their nature would not be documented, were also made. At least 21 individuals including derivatives and money market traders and at least one manager were involved in the inappropriate conduct.” It demonstrates just how involved members of the bank were.
RBS were ready with their own statements, with the chief executive Stephen Hester separating the current staff and management from those who were involved in Libor rigging: “I want to speak very clearly and on behalf of the 137,000 employees of RBS. We condemn the behaviour of the individuals who sought to influence some Libor currency settings at our bank from 2006-10. There is no place at RBS for such behaviour.”
It’s clear that bad news like this needs to be got out of the way so that the banks can move on, but the unceasing storm of scandal, trickery and lying has worn down consumers. It has got to the point where it is difficult to see how banks possibly hope to salvage their reputations.