Barclays has just been hit with the biggest fine on record from Britain’s financial watchdog. And by two more even larger penalties in the US. Its appalling wrongdoing, though, was not consumer mis-selling or some other readily-understood abuse, but attempting to manipulate the arcane inter-bank lending rate and false reporting about benchmark interest rates.
Make no mistake, Barclays' “misconduct” amounts to massive abuse at the very heart of the financial system – to the benefit of the bank.
The inter-bank rate, Libor (or Euribor in Europe), is the benchmark from which most financial deals are priced.
...Barclays’ £290m fine is unlikely to be the end of it, and other banks might be forking out large sums shortly. Private lawsuits are bound to come flooding in now.
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