October 07, 2014

Banks may face new charges over currency, Libor

The Justice Department is working on new charges against some of the world's largest banks in light of more evidence revealing that numerous foreign and American banks altered foreign-currency prices, according to reports that also suggest new focus on charges of Libor manipulation.

The New York Times reported that the charges will likely focus on traders and their bosses rather than the chief executives. Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and UBS are among some of the banks reportedly under investigation.

The Times also reported that some lawyers are using the currency investigation as a way to possibly reopen other cases – involving interest rate manipulation. "Prosecutors are preparing additional charges against at least one trader suspected of manipulating the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a benchmark that underpins the cost of trillions of dollars in credit card, mortgage and other loans," the article stated.

In March, FDIC filed suit against 16 of the largest banks, including Bank of America and Citigroup, over Libor. In September 2013, NCUA announced it would pursue recoveries from banks and other firms in the U.S. and around the world for their part in Libor manipulation and the sale of mortgage-backed securities that helped bring down five corporate credit unions – U.S. Central, WesCorp, Members United, Southwest and Constitution. The agency filed a suit against 13 international banks, as well as an additional nine lawsuits against Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and eight others over the sale of nearly $2.4 billion in mortgage-backed securities to Southwest and Members United.

NAFCU has encouraged NCUA to pursue all means available to mitigate the impact of corporate stabilization on federally insured credit unions.