Germany wants to quiz ex-Deutsche trader in Libor probe -source

FRANKFURT Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:50pm IST

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FRANKFURT Oct 18 (Reuters) - The German financial markets regulator, BaFin, wants to speak to a former Deutsche Bank trader as part of its probe into possible manipulation of the Libor benchmark interest rate, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The move by BaFin, which found no wrongdoing at Deutsche's management after a year investigating its role in the Libor affair, follows a successful lawsuit by four Euribor and Libor traders last month against the bank.

BaFin, Deutsche Bank and the trader, Christian Bittar, who has left Deutsche and was contacted in Singapore, all declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank has said it is talking to authorities in the United States and Europe investigating the setting of London and European interbank offered rates, interest rate benchmarks known as Libor and Euribor, between 2005 and 2011. Libor is used as a reference benchmark to price billions of euros' worth of financial contracts.

BaFin handed over a report of its findings on Deutsche in August, but said at the time that it would continue the investigation if new facts came to light. The news magazine Der Spiegel reported last month that BaFin was examining the court decision in favour of the former traders.

Deutsche had fired the four traders, who did not include Bittar, after discovering that some staff appeared to have been willing to consider the bank's own trading positions when they submitted their estimates for the Euribor and Libor rates.

The court in Frankfurt ruled that they had been dismissed unfairly, and said Deutsche had failed to implement sufficient controls to prevent different arms of its investment bank from talking to each other.

Deutsche, Germany's largest lender by market value, says it has made some provisions to cover the costs of investigations into benchmark interest rates, and that there is no sign that senior management behaved inappropriately.

Britain and the United States fined Britain's Barclays Bank a record $450 million last year for fixing rates during the credit crunch.

Britain's financial regulator said on Friday it had "no current plans" to launch a new investigation into that case, following new evidence disclosed in court filings on Thursday.

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