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UPDATE 1-Deutsche Bank sued in US over Libor
March 20, 2012 / 9:23 AM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Deutsche Bank sued in US over Libor

* Deutsche Bank cooperating with authorities on probes

* Says civil suits filed against Deutsche on Libor

* Deutsche says civil litigation in early stages

FRANKFURT, March 20 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank said it received subpoenas and requests for information from U.S. and European Union agencies as part of a global probe into interbank offered rates and that it was also being sued over alleged dollar interbank rate manipulation.

The requests came from entities including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the European Commission, Deutsche Bank said on Tuesday.

The inquiries relate to periods between 2005 and 2011, the bank said, adding it was cooperating with the investigations.

In addition, a number of civil have been filed in U.S. federal courts, alleging the bank manipulated the dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and prices of dollar Libor-based derivatives, the bank said.

“Claims for damages are asserted under various legal theories, including violations of Commodity Exchange Act and the antitrust laws,” Deutsche Bank said.

The civil actions which have been consolidated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, are in their early stages, the bank said.

Societe Generale, Citigroup, HSBC and UBS have also been involved in probes related to Libor.

British bank Barclays has said it might face regulatory action relating to the global investigation into Libor lending rates and is in talks about a resolution with some of the authorities involved.

Royal Bank of Scotland said in its annual report that some staff were also being investigated but it had substantial defences to claims arising from the probe.

Reuters revealed in February that the U.S. Justice Department’s probe had become a criminal one.

Libor is the benchmark for around $360 trillion worth of financial contracts worldwide.

The daily Libor poll asks banks at what rate they think they will be able to borrow money from each other in 10 major currencies and for 15 borrowing periods ranging from overnight loans to 12 months.

As the credit crisis took hold, allegations started mounting that Libor no longer reflected reality and authorities undertook to examine whether traders at the banks tried to influence whether the rate went up or down in order to profit on bets on the direction it would go.

Like the credit ratings agencies, whose role has been under fire both during and after the financial crisis, there are few credible alternatives to replace a system many now regard as outdated and discredited.

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