Dutch Rabobank expects imminent Libor settlement


LONDON/AMSTERDAM, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Dutch lender Rabobank expects to receive a multimillion-pound fine fromBritish and U.S. regulators within a few weeks to settleallegations that its traders helped to manipulate benchmarkinterest rates.

Two sources familiar with the situation said that a Rabobanksettlement with regulators such as Britain's Financial ConductAuthority, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. CommodityFutures Trading Commission is expected this month.

One source familiar with the matter said that theco-operatively owned bank has been telephoning senior staffabout the expected penalty, which would be the fifth slapped onfinancial institutions since a sprawling global investigationinto the rate-rigging scandal began in 2008.

The scandal, which has landed four institutions with finestotalling $2.7 billion to date, has also resulted in sevenindividuals being charged by U.S. and British prosecutors,scores of institutions and traders interrogated and a spate oflawsuits launched by disgruntled bank customers who allege thatthey lost out financially.

It remains unclear, however, whether a U.S. governmentshutdown over a funding battle in Congress could delay anyannouncement. Non-essential government work has been halteduntil the budget impasse is resolved.

Rabobank, the second-largest Dutch financial group byassets, is likely to agree to a penalty of between the 290million pounds ($470 million) imposed on Barclays andthe $612 million deal struck by Royal Bank of Scotland,Bloomberg reported in February, citing a source with knowledgeof the investigation.

Rabobank bank declined to comment on Wednesday.

More than a dozen banks and brokerages are beinginvestigated by regulators and anti-trust watchdogs worldwidefor manipulating benchmark rates such as Libor and Euribor,which are used to price trillions of dollars of products fromderivatives to credit cards.

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