London: Barclays has agreed to pay 290 million pounds (USD 451 million) worth penalties to the US and the UK authorities towards settling charges of attempting to manipulating Libor and Euribor rates, the global benchmark rates for lending.

The British banking major would pay penalties of 290 million pounds as part of settlement agreement with the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The entity said it has also entered into a pact with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Out of the total amount, Barclays would shell out 200 million pounds to CFTC and 59.5 million pounds to FSA.

Striking an apologetic tone, Barclays CEO Bob Diamond said the events events which gave rise to the resolutions relate to past actions which fell well short of the standards.

"I am sorry that some people acted in a manner not consistent with our culture and values," he said in a late night statement on Wednesday.

CFTC in a separate statement said that Barclays had attempted to manipulate and made false reports concerning two global benchmark interest rates -- Libor and Euribor – on numerous occasion and sometimes on a daily basis between 2005- 2009.
The regulator pointed out that Barclays' senior management and multiple traders were involved in the matter and that they also coordinated with traders at other banks to make false reports concerning both benchmark interest rates to benefit derivatives trading positions.

The information was used in determining the London interbank offered rate, Libor, and Euribor, which influence many other interest rates.

Libor is based on rate submissions from a relatively small and select panel of major banks, including Barclays, and is calculated and published daily for several different currencies by the British Banker's Association (BBA).

Generally, it reflects the cost of borrowing unsecured funds in the London interbank market.

Euribor, also calculated in a similar manner,measures the cost of borrowing in the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union.

"The American public and our markets rely upon the integrity of benchmark interest rates like Libor and Euribor because they form the basis for hundreds of trillions of dollars of transactions and affect nearly every corner of global economy," CFTC's Director of Enforcement David Meister said.

Citing collective responsibility as leaders, Diamond said that he, Chris Lucas, Jerry del Missier and Rich Ricci, would voluntarily forgo any consideration for an annual bonus this year.


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