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CFTC orders JPMorgan to pay $65 million to settle swap rate manipulation charge

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FILE PHOTO: People pass the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Corporate headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (JPM_pd.N) (JPM.N) will have to pay a $65 million (£49 million) civil penalty to settle charges that it attempted manipulating ISDAfix benchmark swap rates between 2007 and 2012, the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission said on Monday.

The derivatives regulator said the bank made false reports and attempted to manipulate the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix to benefit its derivatives positions.

ISDAfix rates are used to help value the cash settlement of options on interest rate swaps and other products. Pension funds and local governments often rely on products priced off the benchmark rate to help hedge against future interest rate changes.

The benchmark swap rates and spreads that are published daily indicate the prevailing mid-market rate, at a specific time of day, for the fixed leg of a standard fixed-for-floating interest rate swap.

"We're pleased to have this matter behind us," JPMorgan spokeswoman Jessica Francisco said.Other big banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Barclays PLC (BARC.L) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) had to settle similar charges relating to ISDAfix benchmark case with the regulator in 2015 and 2016.

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann, Diptendu Lahiri and Nikhil Subba; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Bill Trott and Arun Koyyur)