Europe Fines 8 Banks €1.7 Billion For Rate Rigging In Largest Ever Cartel Penalty In History

Tyler Durden's picture

Another day, another confirmation of not only manipulation by the largest TBTFs in the largest market in the world, this time focusing in Europe, but pervasive collusion. Moments ago EU regulators fined 8 banks €1.71 billion for colluding in an attempt to manipulate key benchmark rates, which is also the EU's largest ever penalty in a cartel case. The banks participating in the settlement include some of the world's biggest banks such as Deutsche Bank, Société Générale SA, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and J.P. Morgan Chase JPM. According to WSJ calculation, this latest action brings to roughly €6 billion the total penalties levied by regulators against financial institutions in connection with probes into manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and other widely used financial benchmarks.

Some obligatory soundbites from Joaquin Almunia, Europe's competition commissioner, who is shocked, shocked there was cartel collusion going on here:

The EU "is determined to purse all those who may have been involved in the cartel," Mr. Almunia said. He said that if the institutions are proven guilty, they will eventually receive "adequate sanctions." "What is shocking about the Libor and Euribor scandals is not only the manipulation of benchmarks, which is being tackled by financial regulators world-wide, but also the collusion between banks who are supposed to be competing with each other," Mr. Almunia said.

Actually, what is shocking is that even with everything else being manipulated, nobody seems to ever touch gold...

The summary of the fined banks, as well as the squealers, pardon, whistleblowers UBS and Barclays:

  • Deutsche Bank gets biggest combined penalty of €725.4mln.
  • SocGen fined €445.9mln for Euribor manipulation.
  • RBS agrees to pay €391mln in cartels
  • JPMorgan fined €79.9mln in JPY LIBOR case.
  • R.P. Martin Holdings Ltd fined €247,000
  • UBS and Barclays escape fines as EU whistle-blowers.

Finally, while we have shown this previously, below once again is a summary of how Wall Street manipulates, well, everything.

Foreign Exchanges

Regulators are looking into whether currency traders have conspired through instant messages to manipulate foreign exchange rates. The currency rates are used to calculate the value of stock and bond indexes.


Energy Trading

Banks have been accused of manipulating energy markets in California and other states.



Since early 2008 banks have been caught up in investigations and litigation over alleged manipulations of Libor.



Banks have been accused of improper foreclosure practices, selling bonds backed by shoddy mortgages, and misleading investors about the quality of the loans.

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williambanzai7's picture

What is even more shocking is not a single criminal has gone to jail in connection with the practices leading to these shocking penalties...or for that matter, the ponzi panoply of other criminal practices engaged in by these global financial racketeering enterprises.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You are more than welcome to complain about the effects of the system.....but don't you dare question the system itself.


Popo's picture

Number of bankers jailed in "biggest ever" scandal?  Zero.



TruthInSunshine's picture

I see that they slapped R.P. Martin Holdings Ltd on the wrist, but what about  JP Marlin?

fx's picture

This "record high" fine probably amounts to a decent 0.01% surcharge to be deducted from the profits they made earlier from manipulating libor. 1.7 tn might have been more appropriate.

BobPaulson's picture

Less than a day of QE.

Four chan's picture

re: the looting of detroit

1 the bankers and big 3 ship out all the jobs to the slave nations.

2 bankers devaluate the dollar by 50% through inflation.

3 bankers push liar loans, short them against their own clients.

4 the bankers raise int rates 6x and blow up the housing market.

5 bankers get tarp

6 bankers capture all the houses now underwater

7 bankers evict everyone, let houses go derelict

8 city gets stuck with the tax bill, messed up tax base and clean up.

9 bankers who are short detroit foreclose on debt, get deal.

10 bankers dump the burden of the disaster on the last ones left, the pensioners firemen and police in the most dangerous city in the world. 

we had a money supply created by patriots insuring slow sustainable growth, that made america great. in 1915 this was replaced by another banking "system" the fed res. 

a "system" designed by the creators, jews by the name of rothschild's, to enslave a free people to debt, and capture all asset through boom and bust cycles their "system" creates using debt created out of thin air. "it's" working perfectly.

one day this 100 year old system will be referred to what it is 


Pegasus Muse's picture

Actually, what is shocking is that even with everything else being manipulated, nobody seems to ever touch gold...

Grant Williams has an excellent piece out this week on gold market manipulation, collusion between central banksters, and the Rise and Fall of the London Gold Pool.  Very instructive for those who think we are in the terminal stages of another - more clandestine - market rigging operation by the same cabal of sociopaths ... 

EscapeKey's picture

shocking? hsbc and wells fargo trafficed many times this amount in drugs alone, and no-one went to jail for that either.

bankers are above the law.

odatruf's picture

Even at this late date, are you truly shocked that no one has gone to jail?  Or is it really that you are shocked that the general public is so acclimated to corruption and graft that they don't care enough to demand their pound of flesh?

ThisIsBob's picture

You have to steal really, really big to stay out of jail.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Those silly little laws we all talk about are not designed to protect 'us'.

Nope....the dirty (big) secret is that those silly little laws are designed to protect the elite from 'us'.

Confused's picture

That will teach them. No WAY they made more than a combined 1.7 fixing LIBOR.


Hahahaha and the show goes on. 

IllusionOfChoice's picture

Bankster to BFF: OMG! Best. Investment. Ever.

Peter Pan's picture

Just remind me again what these banks do not rig or manipulate.

EscapeKey's picture

they DEFINITELY don't manipulate the gold market. that's just conspiracy theory.

Fíréan's picture

It was ALL  "conspiracy theory" six years ago !

Randoom Thought's picture

These kinds of findings, judgements and and fines would and should both send someone(s) to jail and result in financial hardship for the criminals and their organization .... but not in THIS corrupt society. I am sure that the banks just adjust their balance sheet to make electronic fiat payments to the government agencies and they go on with no apparent effect.

Odd, no?

EscapeKey's picture

yet again, they break the law, and no-one goes to jail. and no bonuses are clawed back.

not to forget that RBS are 80% taxpayer owned. gee i wonder who in the end will pay their fine.

odatruf's picture

Public ownership of RBS is the only good reason not to bother with these fines.

doomandbloom's picture

I know someone in RBS who was complaining that they will miss out on their bonus due to their recent IT debacle....

It just seems that the employees within the banks dont see themselves as part of this mess. Its always a few bad apples ( traders) or some outsourced IT guys....or someone blame


reload's picture

I suspect your contact was not in line for a serious bonus anyway: I can assure you all those were signed off some time ago - as were extremely generous share allocations for senior staff - including those in GRG !!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"It's just the cost of doing bidness." - Tony Soprano

<And a very small cost at that.>

doomandbloom's picture

Isnt there some investigation on Gold price fixing too?

EscapeKey's picture

i thought they abandoned that, as there was "a lack of evidence".

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Ya can't find what ya ain't looking for.

EscapeKey's picture

Let's see if we can find it, said the blind man to the deaf.

ak_khanna's picture

European Banks to the Government : 

We are so sorry that we got caught manipulating the benchmark rates. You cannot prosecute us because we fund your election campaigns and shower you with millions of dollars and neither can you stop us from manipulating all the other stock, commodity, bond and currency markets where we are the operators. 

So accept this token amount of Euro 1.7 billion as penalty for breaking the law in which we made hundreds of billions of euros of profits over the years so that the rest of the population continues to believe that we are controlled by you instead of the reality which is the other way round. 

Government : Woof Woof

q99x2's picture

That ought to be worth about a 10 billion bail-in from the people to the banks.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

mr william, j corzine and mazzillo the brillo, piss on your head. jail is for shop lifters and like of us here on zh. is there a crime if the doj does nothing? ans; obviously not.

RealityCheque's picture

Give the sheeple a "big" number to focus on and they'll say

"oohhh, 1.7 billion, thats a lot of money. That'll teach those nasty bankers to behave themselves."

And the show will go on. I'm sure JPMs share of that fine can be found in the tip jar in the mens shithouse.

And there's no manipulation in Gold. No sir.

falak pema's picture

This is just the beginning and its peanuts in comparison to the size of Interest rate derivatives OTC market (400 T), on which the Banking collusion has made its gravy; all the MORE SO since 2008.

Its gotten much worse over the last five years as these banks get greedier in their desperation.

And this is just ONE aspect of banking scamming; now wait for the next one in the pipeline; FOREX scamming :

Regulators contact more banks over currency market manipulation | Business | The Guardian

What is amusing in the fine print of investigation about this second scam is that JPM/CIty/Barclays have ALL pre-admitted to having colluded, in the hope of getting their fines reduced. The guilty guys, when they cooperate, just get their fingers rapped on knuckle and walk away! Jesus! 

What does the NSA "Five Eyes" cabal have to do with the Bankster " Five Lies" cabal?

Ask yourself why the Oligarchy has its Five Fingers in Every pie worth stealing...

FIVE FINGERS - Full Movie 1952

signed Simple Simon.

BlackVoid's picture

A classic case of too little too late!

People should go to jail over this and all the big banks should be broken up. In fact any company making more than 10 billion or so yearly should be immediately broken up.

Pumpkin's picture

Amen!  These corporations can't do a damn thing and can't break any rules or laws, without a real live human being committing the crime.

Kobe Beef's picture

How about:

If you take public money and commit a crime, you go up against the wall. 

These kinds of slap-on-the wrist "penalties" are bullshit. These corporations can even use the taxpayer's money to pay their fines. It's just a cost of doing business, when the crime pays for the punishment.

Time to up the penalties. Some people should die for this. It's not just the money they stole, it's the destruction of our civilization through grift, graft, skim and scam. This kind of civic corruption is a cancer. We must eliminate it.



firstdivision's picture

Paying a fine that is the equivilant to (1X10^-15)% of profits will deter future collusion and manipulation.

ThisIsBob's picture

Poor Jaime.  White House cufflinks apparently don't impress the EU.

Pumpkin's picture

How the hell does this help anything when they are all backstopped by taxpayers?

Herodotus's picture

Perhaps one of them will file for bankruptcy protection instead of paying the fine.

Cacete de Ouro's picture

RP Martin £247,000. WTF?

That will come out of their Christmas party expenses

Shouldn't Terry Farr be in jail?

youngman's picture

You would think the boards of these banks....would clean house.....but I guess this is business as usual.....the boards will probably give out bonuses as the fine was "only" 1.7 billion....and they think that is good.....they were kept out of jail...

Brazen Heist's picture

Its apparent that the government mafia sees more benefit in fining them and skimming part of the booty than jailing anyone. Jailing bankers means that pesky thing called justice, and since when has justice been profitable? 

That's the system, one big fucking cash cow engineered to be abused. 

Funny how capitalism beat its chest after its arch-rival socialism collapsed. Socialism never truly collapsed. I think real capitalism is what collapsed under our noses. 

Al Capowned's picture

84% UK tax payer owned RBS is on a mission in the past week:

  • Libor fine ...(even though just slap on the wrist)


  • RBS found to be completely undermining SME's to put them out of business and buy back for pennies on the dollar


  • RBS system goes down no one could use there cards for purchases on Cyber monday

Seriouly the banking system is a joke and yet very few get just why Bitcoin keeps pushing new highs!


fijisailor's picture

So they got a slap on the hand.  Are they STILL rate rigging?  Obviously no PM rigging here. /sarc

JOHNICON's picture

Sad irony is that the people who end up paying these "fines", the bank's customers, are the ones hurt the most by the bid-rigging that the banks were "fined " for.  Unbelievable.

The_Passenger's picture

So how high is the final ROI of the committed fraud? The fine is probably still only a fraction of the gain...

Maybe the largest fine in history but you still have to put the number in contrast: it only is a little higher than half a regular POMO, so how cares?