LONDON – Broker-dealer ICAP is in advanced talks with U.S. and British regulators over a deal to end an investigation into its alleged role in the manipulation of benchmark interest rates, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
Citing people familiar with the negotiations, the newspaper said an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was likely in the coming weeks, although it could be delayed.
ICAP, the FCA and the Justice Department declined to comment. The CFTC could not be immediately reached for comment.
British and U.S. regulators have so far fined three banks, UBS, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, a total of $2.6 billion over the rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), which is used to price trillions of dollars worth of products, including derivatives and mortgages.
British prosecutors have alleged in court that former UBS and Citi trader Tom Hayes conspired with employees from at least 10 financial institutions, including ICAP, to manipulate rates.
Earlier this year, ICAP said none of its senior management was ever aware of, or involved in, the attempted manipulation of benchmark interest rates.
(Reporting by Clare Hutchison in London and Douwe Miedema in Washington; Editing by Mark Potter and Anthony Barker)