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Japan Bank Lobby May Act After Tibor-Fixing Probe, Nagayasu Says

The Japanese Bankers Association may take measures to improve the way it compiles the nation’s key interbank lending rate, Chairman Katsunori Nagayasu said.

“If needed, based on guidance from investigators, we would take necessary measures, but for now we have no plans to do so,” Nagayasu said today at a press briefing in Tokyo.

Authorities in Asia, Europe and the U.S. are conducting widening inquiries into whether employees at some of the world’s biggest banks sought to manipulate the London, Tokyo and euro interbank offered rates, known as Libor, Tibor and Euribor, respectively.

Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG were ordered by Japan’s Financial Services Agency in December to suspend some derivative transactions after the regulator found that staff at the firms attempted to influence interbank lending rates. Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are among 17 reference banks that submit Euro-yen Tokyo interbank offered rates to the association, which compiles and sets the benchmark lending rate, according to the lobby’s website.

“We are aware that regulators are globally conducting probes,” said Nagayasu, who is also chief executive officer of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest publicly traded bank. “Their investigations might have stemmed from some skepticism over how the rates are compiled from the so-called reference banks.”

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