RBS to pay $612 million for rate-rigging

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Regulators determined that RBS traders pressured employees responsible for submitting the bank's interbank borrowing LIBOR report to falsely report the figure in a way that maximized their profit. The CFTC also found RBS employees continued to submit false reports even after press reports began to question the rates, and some even continued the practice while the bank was investigating problems with that very practice.

"Today’s Order against RBS demonstrates yet another clear case of a bank falsely reporting and attempting to manipulate or successfully manipulating benchmark rates to increase trading profits," said CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler. "Such false reporting of benchmark rates undermines the integrity of markets and shakes the public’s trust in our financial system."

CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton called the penalty fitting for such "despicable" conduct.

"This is a solid and significant settlement which sends a signal to those who would monkey around with benchmark rates," he said in a statement.

With the RBS penalty, the CFTC has now imposed more than $1.2 billion in penalties to banks for rigging key interest rates like LIBOR.

The Swiss bank UBS agreed to pay $1.5 billion in December to U.S. and British regulators to settle its LIBOR-rigging charges, and the British bank Barclays set off the the scandal when it paid $453 million to settle LIBOR charges in June.