AG Jepsen: States Reach $68M Settlement with UBS for LIBOR Manipulation
Under a $68 million multistate settlement agreement, UBS AG will pay $64.6 million in restitution to government and nonprofit entities for its manipulation of benchmark interest rates in the lead up to and early days of the financial crisis, Attorney General George Jepsen announced today.
UBS has agreed to pay a total of $68 million to resolve a 40-state multistate investigation – which was led by the states of Connecticut and New York – that revealed that the bank manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate, also known as LIBOR, at various times between 2007 and 2010.
"Our multistate investigation has developed significant evidence that some banks that were responsible for setting LIBOR rates intentionally manipulated LIBOR in order to protect their public image and to help the business side of their operations be more profitable," Attorney General Jepsen said. "This conduct was improper and unlawful. Our multistate investigation will continue in order to hold accountable those other banks which harmed consumers in Connecticut and across the country."
Government and nonprofit entities with LIBOR-linked swaps and other investment contracts with UBS will receive notice if they are eligible to receive restitution from the $64.6 million settlement fund. Connecticut entities are expected to qualify for approximately $750,000 in restitution payments, though qualifying entities are still being determined. The $3.6 million balance of the settlement funds will be used to pay costs and expenses of the investigation, which remains active and ongoing.
The states alleged that UBS misrepresented the integrity of LIBOR to state and local government, nonprofit and other counterparties by concealing, misrepresenting and failing to disclose that UBS's U.S. Dollar LIBOR submitters on occasion submitted rates that reflected management directives to "err on the low side" or to stay in the "middle of the pack" to avoid reputational harm, and that UBS manipulated its Yen LIBOR submissions to increase the profits of its derivative traders.
LIBOR is a benchmark interest rate that affects financial instruments – including swaps, options and bonds – that are worth trillions of dollars; it has a widespread impact on global markets and consumers, including government and not-for-profit entities. The rate is calculated daily in multiple currencies, including the U.S. dollar, by a panel of banks, and submissions by the individual contributing banks are governed by several criteria designed to maintain the integrity of the rate.
The multistate working group of states, led by the attorneys general of Connecticut and New York, includes the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The states previously reached LIBOR-related settlements with Barclays in 2016, Deutsche Bank in 2017, and CitiBank earlier this year.
Former Assistant Attorney General Christopher Haddad and Assistant Attorney General Michael Cole, chief of the Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department, assisted the Attorney General with this matter.
Please click here to view the settlement with UBS.
Jaclyn M. Severance