Three banks 'central to Libor rigging'
New details from court documents and sources close to the Libor scandal investigation suggest that groups of traders working at three major European banks were heavily involved in rigging global benchmark interest rates.
Some of those traders, including one who used to work at Barclays in New York, still have senior positions on Wall Street trading desks.
Until now, most of the attention has involved traders at Barclays, which last month reached a $453 million settlement with US and UK authorities for its role in the manipulation of rates.
Now, it is becoming clear that traders from at least two other banks - UK-based Royal Bank of Scotland and Switzerland's UBS - played a central role.
Among them, the three banks employed more than a dozen traders who sought to influence rates in either dollar, euro or yen rates.
Some of the traders who are being probed have worked for several banks under scrutiny, raising the possibility that the rate fixing became more ingrained as traders changed jobs.
The documents reviewed by Reuters in analysing the traders' involvement included court filings by Canadian regulators who have been investigating potential antitrust issues; settlement documents with
Barclays filed by the US department of justice and the US commodity futures trading commission in Washington and by the Financial Services Authority in the UK; and a private employment lawsuit filed by a former RBS trader in Singapore's high court.
The scandal, which began to come to light in 2008, has become a time bomb for regulators and a big focus for politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.
At issue is the manipulation between at least 2005 and 2009 of rates that are used to determine the cost of trillions of dollars of borrowings, including everything from home loans to credit card rates.