Bank of America, Citigroup and Credit Suisse were among more than a dozen banks sued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for allegedly manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate from 2007 to 2011.
The FDIC, acting as receiver for 38 failed institutions, claimed that banks sitting on the U.S. dollar Libor panel "fraudulently and collusively suppressed" the U.S. rate. Also named in the suit, filed today in Manhattan federal court, is the British Bankers Association.
Global authorities have been investigating claims that more than a dozen banks altered submissions used to set benchmarks such as Libor to profit from bets on interest-rate derivatives or to make the lenders' finances appear healthier.
Regulators around the world have been probing whether more than a dozen firms colluded to manipulate interest-rate benchmarks including Libor, which affects more than $300 trillion of securities worldwide. Financial institutions have paid about $6 billion so far to resolve criminal and civil claims in the U.S. and Europe that they manipulated benchmark interest rates.
That cost for global investment banks could climb to $46 billion, analysts at KBW, a unit of Stifel Financial, said in a report last year. JPMorgan Chase and HSBC may face a European Union complaint as soon as next month from the bloc's antitrust chief.
FDIC claims the banks committed fraud and violated U.S. antitrust laws in fixing the Libor benchmark. It seeks unspecified damages.
Drew Benson, a Credit Suisse spokesman, had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.
The case is Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Bank of America Corp., 14-cv-01757, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).