UBS Chief Says Bank Isn’t Central to Libor Investigations
UBS AG (UBSN) Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said there is no reason to single out the Swiss bank in the probes regulators worldwide are conducting into the possible manipulation of London interbank offered rates.
“It is crystal clear that UBS is not in the center of anything,” Ermotti said at a press conference in Zurich today in response to a question on reports that the bank may have had a key role in rigging Libor. “We’re waiting to see the results of the investigation. But there is no evidence at this stage that we have a particular position in that matter.”
UBS is among firms including Citigroup Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Deutsche Bank AG being investigated worldwide for practices in setting Libor. London-based Barclays Plc (BARC) was fined a record 290 million pounds ($456 million) on June 27 for rigging Libor, leading to the resignations of CEO Robert Diamond, Chairman Marcus Agius and Chief Operating Officer Jerry Del Missier.
The bank has been “upfront with authorities and regulators about this issue,” Ermotti said. “That’s the reason why we were able to apply for leniency in the areas where this was necessary.”
UBS said previously that it received conditional immunity or leniency for cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department and Swiss Competition Commission’s antitrust investigations into submissions of yen Libor and the euro-yen Tokyo interbank offered rate, or Tibor. The Canadian Competition Bureau also granted the bank conditional immunity in its investigation into yen Libor, while the Swiss commission granted immunity on Swiss franc Libor and certain transactions related to it.
Chief Financial Officer Tom Naratil told journalists today that the bank was granted leniency or immunity in all reference rates that it applied for. When asked whether the bank made provisions for possible fines in Libor probes, Naratil said UBS feels “appropriately provisioned for all matters” considered in the quarter.
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