Bloomberg News

EU Seeks Views on Libor Overhaul Plans in Rate-Rigging Response

September 05, 2012

The European Commission is seeking views on possible rules to overhaul Libor, Euribor and other so- called market benchmarks in the wake of the scandal over interbank lending rates.

European Union regulators are weighing options such as forcing banks to provide real transaction data rather than estimates and increasing the number of lenders involved in the rate setting, according to an e-mailed statement from the commission.

It’s “essential that steps are taken to ensure the integrity of benchmarks,” Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, said in a statement. “The international investigations under way into the manipulation of Libor have revealed yet another example of unacceptable behavior by banks.”

Confidence in Libor, the benchmark interest rate for more than $500 trillion of securities, plummeted following Barclays Plc (BARC)’s admission that it submitted false rates. The revelations have provoked renewed calls for tougher oversight of the financial system and pushed regulatory probes of interbank lending rates to the top of the political agenda.

Barclays, the U.K.’s second-largest bank by assets, was fined 290 million pounds ($460 million) in June for its role in rigging Libor for profit. Chairman Marcus Agius, Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond and Chief Operating Officer Jerry Del Missier subsequently resigned.

The commission will seek views on possible measures until Nov. 15, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Brunsden in Brussels at jbrunsden@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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