WASHINGTON—Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank) has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to pay a $325 million penalty to resolve violations arising from Rabobank’s submissions for the London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR), which are leading benchmark interest rates around the world, the Justice Department announced today.
A criminal information will be filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut that charges Rabobank as part of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). The information charges Rabobank with wire fraud for its role in manipulating the benchmark interest rates LIBOR and Euribor. In addition to the $325 million penalty, the DPA requires the bank to admit and accept responsibility for its misconduct as described in an extensive statement of facts. Rabobank has agreed to continue cooperating with the Justice Department in its ongoing investigation of the manipulation of benchmark interest rates by other financial institutions and individuals.
“For years, employees at Rabobank, often working with traders at other banks around the globe, illegally manipulated four different interest rates—EURIBOR and LIBOR for U.S. dollar, yen, and pound sterling—in the hopes of fraudulently moving the market to generate profits for their traders at the expense of the bank’s counterparties,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s criminal resolution—which represents the second-largest penalty in the Criminal Division’s active, ongoing investigation of the manipulation of global benchmark interest rates by some of the largest banks in the world—comes fast on the heels of charges brought against three former ICAP brokers just last month. Rabobank is the fourth major financial institution that has admitted its misconduct in this wide-ranging criminal investigation, and other banks should pay attention: our investigation is far from over.”
“Rabobank rigged multiple benchmark rates, allowing its traders to reap higher profits at the expense of their unsuspecting counterparties,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Leslie C. Overton of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Not only was this conduct fraudulent, it compromised the integrity of globally-used interest rate benchmarks—undermining financial markets worldwide.”
“Rabobank admitted to manipulating LIBOR and EURIBOR submissions, which directly affected the rates referenced by financial products held by and on behalf of companies and investors around the world,” said Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Rabobank’s actions resulted in the deliberate harm to counterparties holding products referencing the manipulated rates. Today’s announcement is yet another example of the tireless efforts of the FBI special agents and forensic accountants who are dedicated to investigating complex fraud schemes and, together with prosecutors, bringing to justice those who participate in such schemes.”