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Banks Accused Of Scheme To Rig Swiss Franc Settle Libor Suit

 |  February 16, 2023

Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and NatWest agreed to settle an antitrust litigation over an interest rate manipulation for a combined $47.75 million, Bloomberg reported.

The case is part of a wave of cartel litigation stretching back more than a decade that takes aim at overlapping schemes by the world’s top financial institutions to manipulate the critical interest rate benchmarks powering global banking and trade.

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Judge Sidney H. Stein signed off tentatively on the pacts, which call for payments of $13.75 million by Credit Suisse, $13 million by Deutsche Bank and $21 million by NatWest. The suit accused them of rigging the franc Libor, used to set interest rates for transactions involving Switzerland’s currency.

Many of the cases have focused on versions of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, a longtime centerpiece of world commerce. The benchmark has been gradually phased out since late 2021, largely over fallout from the rate rigging scandal, but the transition has been messy.

The banks have paid billions in total to make the allegations go away, at times in nine-figure chunks, at others in increments of a few million dollars. Some recent or ongoing cases focus on benchmarks involving the currencies of Singapore, Japan, and Australia.