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SG MAS censures 20 banks for attempted rate rigging

Property Here - Monday, June 17, 2013

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By Shabnam Muzammil:

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has punished 20 banks after it found 133 traders attempting to manipulate key interest rates and foreign exchange benchmarks between 2007 and 2011, according to media reports.

“Although the number of traders involved represents a small proportion of the trading community in Singapore, MAS takes a serious view of the need to uphold high standards of integrity in the industry and expects banks to foster a culture of ethical conduct among all their employees,” the central bank noted.

The probe covered a foreign exchange rate, a local benchmark for commercial lending and the Singapore interbank offered rate (SIBOR).

The 20 banks failed to supervise their submissions to the panels that set the benchmarks, and have been instructed to set aside additional reserves, according to the MAS. 

Singapore’s worst offenders were UBS, Dutch bank ING and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The three banks were ordered to boost their reserves at MAS by S$1 billion to S$1.2 billion at zero interest rate for one year.

Meanwhile, BNP Paribas, Bank of America and the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation were instructed to increase their reserves by S$700 million to S$800 million.

The remaining 14 banks including Barclays, HSBC, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase and Standard Chartered received smaller penalties.

75 percent of traders involved had resigned or were fired, while the remaining will be demoted or transferred to another job.

Shabnam Muzammil, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email