Barclays officials wants you to know: They weren't the only bank rigging the Libor rate, thank you very much.
Marcus Agius, the chairman of Barclays who resigned from his post earlier this month and then was reappointed one day later, wrote in a staff memo that, although his bank was the first to settle allegations that it manipulated the Libor rate, the public will soon understand that it wasn’t the only bank to mess with the measure, which is used as a peg for everything from credit derivatives to mortgage rates.
"As other banks settle with authorities and their details become public and various governments' inquiries shed more light, our situation will eventually be put in perspective," Aigus wrote in the memo, according to the International Business Times.
Agius isn’t the first Barlcays official to note that other banks are likely involved in the scandal. During his testimony in front of a British parliamentary committee earlier this month, now former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond said the bank became a scapegoat for a widespread problem because it was the first to settle. Diamond resigned in the wake of the allegations.
“There has been an unfortunate series of events in the last week in the fact that Barclays was identified as the first bank,” Diamond said during his testimony, according to Bloomberg.
And Diamond may be right. The system for determining the Libor rate was set up in such a way that it allowed individual banks to manipulate it relatively easily, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous traders. In addition, banks in the U.S., Europe and Japan -- including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase -- are under investigation by various authorities over Libor.
The Justice Department is also building criminal investigations against big banks over the rate-rigging scandal, The New York TImes reports.But it’s not just banks getting caught up in the fray. When he was president of the New York Federal Reserve, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner passed on banks’ recommendations about how best to deal with Libor manipulation to the Bank of England, documents show. Officials at the Financial Services Authority, one of the British regulators responsible for overseeing Libor, are also facing questions from British lawmakers over their ability to adequately monitor rate-rigging.