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LIBOR manipulation hurt government and non-profit organizations in California and across the country
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced a $220 million multistate settlement with Deutsche Bank for fraudulent conduct involving the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). LIBOR is the rate at which banks lend money to one another. It is a key financial tool that determines interest rates for many financing mechanisms, including government and corporate bonds. Deutsche Bank colluded with other banks to skew borrowing rates in its favor, illegally profiting on contracts with municipalities linked to LIBOR. This unlawful strategy resulted in a sharp increase in profits for Deutsche Bank at the expense of government entities and non-profit organizations in California and throughout the country. Through the settlement announced today, California governmental and non-profit entities that invested with Deutsche Bank will receive approximately $29 million.
“During the financial crisis, Deutsche Bank was consumed with increasing its profits at the expense of Californians,” said Attorney General Becerra. “They manipulated interest rates hoping to turn a quick profit. In the process, they left government entities and non-profits in California hanging out to dry. This conduct is unacceptable and it is illegal. Banks and financial institutions do not get to play fast and loose with the law.”
The investigation was led by the attorneys general of California and New York and conducted by a working group of 43 other attorneys general: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Attorney General Becerra’s investigation into the conduct of several other banks involved in setting LIBOR is ongoing. A copy of the settlement agreement is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.