UBS agrees to $1.5 billion fine in Libor scandal


UBS Securities Japan Co. Ltd., an investment bank under UBS, also agreed to plead guilty to felony wire fraud for its role in manipulating Libor. Two former traders were also charged with conspiracy, and one for wire fraud and price fixing — the first criminal charges to stem from a wide-ranging probe on the rate.

The Financial Services Authority, Britain's top financial regulator, said the misbehavior was "extensive and widespread," and claimed to have proof of at least 2,000 requests to manipulate the rate. It also noted that those are just the instances documented, and that an "unquantifiable" number of such requests were made orally.

"Manipulation was also discussed in internal open chat forums and group emails, and was widely known," the regulator said.

UBS said it cooperated completely with the watchdogs and decried the behavior that occurred under its roof.

"During the course of these investigations, we discovered behavior of certain employees that is unacceptable. Their misconduct does not reflect the values of UBS nor the high ethical standards to which we hold every employee," said UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti. "No amount of profit is more important than the reputation of this firm, and we are committed to doing business with integrity.”

In June, the British bank Barclays became the first to settle charges of Libor rigging, paying $453 million and setting off a series of recriminations on both sides of the Atlantic, including on Capitol Hill.