Barclays bank has agreed to pay a record fine of
290 million pounds ($451.6 million) to British and U.S.
regulators over attempts to manipulate key interbank lending rates,
the bank said on Wednesday.
In a statement also released Wednesday, the Britain's Financial Services Authority (FSA) said Barclays' "misconduct was serious and widespread."
The misconduct related to the daily setting of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, and its equivalent in Europe, Euribor, between 2005 and 2009. The Libor is used in establishing daily lending rates.
"Making submissions to try to benefit trading positions is wholly unacceptable," said the FSA statement.
"Barclays behaviour threatened the integrity of the rates with the risk of serious harm to other market participants."
Barclays said it had reached settlements with the FSA, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the US Department of Justice Fraud Section.
According to the statement, Barclays will have to pay a record fine of 59.5 million pounds to the FSA, with the remaining bulk of the fine to be settled with US authorities.
The resolution is part of an industry-wide investigation into the setting of interbank offered rates across a range of currencies between 2005 and 2009.
Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond, who is a U.S. citizen, said Wednesday he was "sorry that some people acted in a manner not consistent with our culture and values."
To reflect their collective responsibility as leaders, Diamond said he and three other top executives had agreed with the board to forgo any consideration for an annual bonus this year.
Diamond, who last year received a bonus of 2.7 million pounds, said the activities "fell well short of the standards to which Barclays aspires in the conduct of its business."
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