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Release Date: 29th October 2013

To access the original FCA document, click here.


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imposed a substantial fine of £105 million on Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank) for its involvement in serious misconduct related to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). This penalty ranks as the third highest levied by the FCA or its predecessor, highlighting the severity of the bank’s failings.

Rabobank was found to have deficient internal controls which facilitated collusion between traders and LIBOR submitters, leading to systematic attempts to manipulate the benchmark. Despite assurances given to the FCA in March 2011 that adequate controls were in place, the bank did not fully address these failings until August 2012. The misconduct, spanning from May 2005 to January 2011, involved:

These actions led to manipulated LIBOR submissions from Rabobank and potentially affected submissions by other panel banks, compromising the integrity of LIBOR as a fair reflection of the cost of interbank borrowing.

Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime, stated that Rabobank’s misconduct was among the most serious the regulator had seen in relation to LIBOR. She emphasised that the bank’s traders and submitters viewed LIBOR submissions as opportunities to generate profits without considering the market’s integrity. McDermott also highlighted the bank’s disappointing response to the issue, which included flawed assurances and a failure to effectively address internal problems.

The FCA’s investigation revealed over 500 instances of attempted manipulation involving at least 28 individuals worldwide, including managers. This misconduct not only breached FCA principles requiring businesses to act with skill, care, diligence, and proper market conduct but also undermined the overall market integrity.

Rabobank’s cooperation with the FCA’s investigation and its agreement to settle early led to a 30% reduction in the fine, which otherwise would have been £150 million. The case underlines the importance of robust internal controls and the need for firms to maintain high ethical standards, particularly in their contributions to critical financial benchmarks like LIBOR. The FCA continues to emphasise that it will hold accountable any firms that fall short of these standards, ensuring the integrity and proper function of financial markets.

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