New York among 45 states to reach $220M settlement with Deutsche Bank over interest rate manipulation

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday announced a $220 million, 45-state settlement with Deutsche Bank for fraudulent conduct involving the manipulation of U.S. Dollar (USD) LIBOR (the London Interbank Offered Rate) and other benchmark interest rates.

Benchmark interest rates affect financial instruments worth trillions of dollars and have a widespread impact on global markets and consumers because LIBOR may determine how much they will be paid on their investments. New York and California led the working group of State Attorneys General investigating Deutsche Bank.

“We will not tolerate fraudulent, manipulative or collusive conduct that interferes with or undermines confidence in our financial markets. Large financial institutions, like all other market participants, have to abide by the rules,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “As a result of Deutsche Bank’s misconduct, government entities and not-for-profits were defrauded of funds that otherwise could have been used to benefit New Yorkers.”

Schneiderman’s office said that from 2005-2010, a panel of 16 banks made USD LIBOR submissions that were supposed to reflect borrowing rates in the interbank market. A daily LIBOR rate was calculated by averaging the middle eight submissions. The investigation found that from as early as 2005 and continuing through the financial crisis, Deutsche Bank acted unlawfully.

Specifically, the investigation found that Deutsche Bank defrauded counterparties by failing to disclose that: (a) Deutsche Bank made false or misleading LIBOR submissions; (b) Deutsche Bank’s traders attempted to influence other banks’ LIBOR submissions to benefit Deutsche Bank’s trading positions; and (c) Deutsche Bank was aware that other banks were manipulating their LIBOR submissions and that LIBOR was a false rate.

As a result of this misconduct, Deutsche Bank employees and management knew or had strong reason to believe that Deutsche Bank’s and other panel banks’ LIBOR submissions did not reflect their true borrowing rates and that published LIBOR rates did not reflect the actual borrowing costs of Deutsche Bank and other panel banks.
PRESS RELEASE FROM NY ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE