Canada’s Competition Bureau ended an investigation into possible collusion to manipulate benchmark interest rates for Japanese yen, saying it didn’t find enough evidence to justify a criminal prosecution.
The bureau obtained “extensive evidence from numerous parties” in its probe of the London interbank offered rate that began in early 2011, according to a statement today. There was insufficient evidence to support prosecution under Canadian law, which requires proof of “significant anti-competitive economic effects,” the bureau said.
The investigation of possible manipulation involved at least seven firms, including Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc. Banks including Barclays Plc, UBS AG, RBS and Rabobank Groep have previously been sanctioned by other countries’ regulators as part of a global probe of benchmark rates set in London.
Deutsche Bank and RBS were among six companies fined a record 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) by the European Union in December for rigging interest rates linked to Libor. The combined fines for manipulating yen Libor and Euribor, the benchmark money-market rate for the euro, are the largest-ever EU cartel penalties.