[LONDON] US and British regulators fined Deutsche Bank a hefty US$2.5 billion and its key London subsidiary pleaded guilty to benchmark interest rate rigging on Thursday as it became the latest financial group to settle allegations of misconduct.
The record penalty in a seven-year investigation that has shredded the industry's reputation takes the total fines imposed on some of the world's top financial institutions to more than US$8.5 billion. Twenty-one traders and brokers face criminal charges.
US regulators fined Germany's largest bank US$2.175 billion and UK watchdogs demanded 227 million pounds (US$341 million) for failing to prevent a scam to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and its Euribor cousin - benchmarks for hundreds of trillions of dollars of financial products and loans worldwide.
As part of the deal, Germany's largest bank will also terminate and ban employees who engaged in misconduct and will install an independent monitor, according to a statement by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Deutsche Bank's failings were compounded by them repeatedly misleading the FCA.
"This case stands out for the seriousness and duration of the breaches by Deutsche Bank - something reflected in the size of today's fine," said Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement and market oversight at the British regulator.
"One division at Deutsche Bank had a culture of generating profits without proper regard to the integrity of the market. This wasn't limited to a few individuals but, on certain desks, it appeared deeply ingrained."