BofA Says Libor Probe Draws U.S. Subpoenas on Submissions
Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second- biggest U.S. bank, received formal inquiries from investigators pressing their probe into the possible rigging of a key international lending benchmark.
The bank received subpoenas and requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and U.K. Financial Services Authority, the firm said yesterday in a filing. Bank of America also said regulators have asked whether the company properly oversaw vendors who sold identity-theft protection products to its customers.
Inquiries involve “submissions made by panel banks in connection with the setting of London interbank offered rates and European and other interbank offered rates,” Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America said in the filing.
Regulators have queried at least a dozen banks worldwide about their roles in setting Libor, the most widely used benchmark for interest rates, affecting more than $360 trillion in financial products. U.S. prosecutors are preparing to file charges later this year against traders from banks involved in a bid-rigging scheme to manipulate Libor, a person with knowledge of the case has said.
LIBOR Inquiries and Litigation
The Corporation has received subpoenas and information requests from government authorities including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority concerning submissions made by panel banks in connection with the setting of London interbank offered rates (LIBOR) and European and other interbank offered rates. The Corporation is cooperating with these inquiries.
In addition, the Corporation and BANA have been named as defendants along with most of the other LIBOR panel banks in a series of individual and class actions in various U.S. federal courts relating to defendants’ LIBOR contributions. All cases naming the Corporation have been consolidated for pre-trial purposes in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by the Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation. The Corporation expects that any future cases naming the Corporation will similarly be consolidated for pre-trial purposes. Plaintiffs allege that they held or transacted in U.S. dollar LIBOR-based derivatives or other financial instruments and sustained losses as a result of collusion or manipulation by defendants regarding the setting of U.S. dollar LIBOR. They assert a variety of claims, including treble damage, antitrust and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations claims.