Major banks, which often band together when facing government scrutiny, are now turning on one another as an international investigation into the manipulation of interest rates gains momentum.
With billions of dollars and their reputations on the line, financial institutions have been spreading the blame in recent meetings with authorities, according to government and bank officials with knowledge of the matter. While acknowledging their own wrongdoing, institutions are pointing out actions at other banks that they believe are worse — and in some cases, extend to top executives.
The Swiss bank UBS , which has a history of regulatory run-ins, has shared e-mails, instant messages and other information suggesting it had colluded with traders at Deutsche Bank , HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland to manipulate key interest rates, according to court documents and bank employees. In talks with authorities,HSBC is providing its own account of the activities, according to a lawyer briefed on the matter. Citigroup has also detailed rate manipulation with other banks.
When the British bank Barclays recently negotiated a settlement with authorities, it highlighted that other European institutions took part in the rate-rigging scheme, said officials close to the case. Like UBS, Barclays has provided information on activities involving HSBC and Deutsche Bank.Page 1 of 7 | Next Page