UC Regents File LIBOR Manipulation Lawsuits Against 22 Financial Institutions

By on June 26, 2013

The Regents of the University of California (UC) and the San Diego Association of Governments accused Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and 20 other financial institutions of manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), according to complaints filed on June 25. 

In the UC complaint, plaintiffs allege fraud, deceit and unjust enrichment against the banks and seek unspecified damages for either paying inflated interest rates or receiving deflated interest rates on their LIBOR-linked investments.  “The defendant Libor banks in this case engaged in illegal and improper conduct and engaged in a criminal conspiracy that caused harm to public entities and hundreds of millions of people around the world,” the University of California complaint stated.  

The financial institutions acted “in concert to knowingly overstate and understate their true borrowing costs,” causing LIBOR to be calculated artificially and they “reaped hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in illegitimate gains,” according to the UC Regents complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.  The San Diego Association of Governments filed its lawsuit in U.S. District court in San Diego. 

The LIBOR is the interest rate that the banks charge each other for loans. LIBOR rates apply to the short-term international interbank as well as large loans with terms ranging from one day to five years.  The LIBOR is officially fixed once a day by a small group of large London banks, but the rate fluctuates throughout the day. 

The two suits allege violations of U.S. and California antitrust laws and name the following institutions as defendants: 

Bank of America Corp;

Bank of America NA;

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd;

Barclays Bank Plc;

Citigroup Inc;

Citibank NA;

Cooperatieve Central Raiffseisen-Boerenleenbank BA;

Credit Suisse Group AG;

Deutsche Bank AG;

HSBC Bank Plc;

HSBC Holdings Plc;

JPMorgan Chase & Co;

JPMorgan Chase Bank NA;

Lloyds Banking Group Plc;

HBOS Plc;

Royal Bank of Canada;

The Norinchukin Bank;

Societe Generale SA;

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc;

UBS AG;

Portigon AG;

WestDeutsche ImmobilienBank AG.

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