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Barclays Bank: Colluding to Manipulate LIBOR

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CASE STUDY. In late June 2012, the results of a long-term investigation by the United Kingdom’s (UK) financial watchdog, Financial Services Authorities (FSA), revealed that derivatives traders and bankers at Barclays bank had been colluding to influence submissions that influenced the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the European Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR).

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Barclays Bank: Colluding to Manipulate LIBOR: Abstract

Barclays Bank: Colluding to Manipulate LIBOR is a case study by Chijioke Oji and Viola Makin.

In late June 2012, the results of a long-term investigation by the United Kingdom’s (UK) financial watchdog, Financial Services Authorities (FSA), revealed that derivatives traders and bankers at Barclays bank had been colluding to influence submissions that influenced the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the European Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR). The investigation also showed that Barclays’ employees had colluded with colleagues at other major banks to influence their LIBOR and EURIBOR submissions, and consequently reduce the rate at which the two had been set. This had allowed the banks to make greater profits on trades, especially in the United States (US) derivatives market, which often relied on LIBOR as a reference rate for financial products. The scandal led to the resignation of the Barclays chief executive officer (CEO), Bob Diamond, and a number of Barclay’s senior executives, as well as the imposition of a hefty fine on the bank.

Teaching objectives

The purpose of this case is to generate discussion and learning on ethics and corporate governance.

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