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RBC may become ensnarled in Libor-setting probe Add to ...

Canada's biggest bank, Royal Bank of Canada , is among the 16 institutions that could become ensnarled by the probe into the setting of the Libor rate that UBS disclosed Tuesday.

The Swiss Bank revealed the existence of the probe in page 318 of its annual report, saying it has received subpoenas from the SEC, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with submissions to the British Bankers' Association, which sets Libor rates.

(For more about Libor and how it's calculated, click here for a good resource).

"UBS understands that the investigations focus on whether there were improper attempts by UBS, either acting on its own or together with others, to manipulate Libor rates at certain times," the bank stated. It added that the Japan Financial Supervisory Agency is also investigating.

The Financial Times is reporting that the investigation centres on the panel of 16 banks that helped the British Bankers' Association set Libor for U.S. dollars from 2006 to 2008. The newspaper said that all panel members, including RBC, are believed to have received at least an informal request for information, which is an earlier stage in an investigative process before a subpoena.

Other banks on the panel include Bank of America, Barclays, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds, Rabobank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Norinchukin Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, and West LB, the FT reported.

A spokesperson for RBC declined to comment Tuesday. Royal Bank's first-quarter financial results came out earlier this month and did not include any information about this probe, suggesting that at least at that point the bank had not been subpoenaed.


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