August saw a slight uptick in fines, penalties and settlements for our bank group – the 18 largest institutions headquartered in the U.S. and E.U. The two settlements reached this month increased the year-to-date total by over $730 million, to $17 billion.
Only one item was added to the total fines and penalties bill this past month. Barclays has agreed to settle for about $100 million with 44 U.S. states over allegations of manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). According the New York Attorney General, Barclay’s was accused of submitting false rates that inflated the borrowing costs linked to the LIBOR between 2005 and 2009. This manipulation allegedly hid the poor health of Barclays, as well as defrauded government entities and nonprofits whose contracts were linked to the rates. Barclays is the first bank to reach a settlement with state regulators over these claims.
This brings our year-to-date total to a little over half of the 2015 amount. We may see renewed activity once the lazy days of summer have come to an end.