Banking

Bank of America fined by regulator over charges of interest rate manipulation

A Bank of America logo is shown on a sign in Charlotte in this 2015 photo. A federal regulator said Wednesday it has fined the bank $30 million to settle charges it attempted to manipulate global interest rates and that it knowingly filed false reports as part of the alleged scheme.
A Bank of America logo is shown on a sign in Charlotte in this 2015 photo. A federal regulator said Wednesday it has fined the bank $30 million to settle charges it attempted to manipulate global interest rates and that it knowingly filed false reports as part of the alleged scheme. jkomer@charlotteobserver.com

A federal regulator said Wednesday it has fined Bank of America $30 million to settle charges it attempted to manipulate global interest rates and that it knowingly filed false reports in an alleged scheme that spanned six years.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said the charges brought against the Charlotte-based bank involved activities running from 2007 to 2012. Bank of America traders attempted to manipulate the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix, a benchmark used to set rates, in order to benefit the bank’s own trading positions at the expense of other parties, the regulator said.

Bank of America spokesman Bill Halldin said the bank has enhanced its procedures to detect any inappropriate behavior. In its news release, the commission also said Bank of America has taken significant remedial action to strengthen its internal controls and policies.

According to the regulator, the bank’s traders would bid, offer and execute transactions around 11 a.m. with the intent to impact rates before they were published. Traders would direct other Bank of America employees to submit false reports to further manipulate rates, the regulator said.

Other firms have been fined over charges of attempted manipulation of the same benchmark.

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On Tuesday, the commission said it fined Intercapital Capital Markets $50 million. In August, it fined BNP Paribas Securities Corp. $90 million.

JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank Securities are among other banks fined.

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