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Release Date: 6th February 2013

To access the original FSA document, click here.


The Final Notice issued by the FSA to The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (RBS) on 6 February 2013 imposed a financial penalty of £87.5 million due to breaches of principles relating to the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). RBS qualified for a 30% discount under the FSA’s settlement procedures for settling at an early stage, which otherwise would have resulted in a penalty of £125 million.

RBS’s misconduct, occurring between January 2006 and March 2012, involved inappropriate efforts to influence LIBOR rates for Japanese yen (JPY), Swiss franc (CHF), and US dollar (USD). These actions were taken to benefit the bank’s derivatives trading positions. RBS engaged in manipulating its own submissions and colluding with other banks and broker firms to influence LIBOR submissions. At least 21 individuals at RBS were implicated, including derivatives traders and the managers responsible for LIBOR submissions.

Principle breaches highlighted by the FSA included:

RBS also failed to have adequate risk management systems in place to prevent these manipulations, with insufficient internal controls and oversight to detect or prevent inappropriate submissions. The systemic failure extended to the management’s inadequate oversight and a corporate culture that prioritised profits over compliance with regulatory standards.

The case against RBS demonstrates the importance of maintaining the integrity of financial benchmarks and underscores the need for financial institutions to have robust compliance mechanisms.

Firms must ensure that:

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