December 19, 2012
Washington, DC — Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler today made the following statement on the CFTC’s enforcement action that requires UBS to pay a $700 million penalty for unlawful conduct related to LIBOR:
“Falsely reported LIBOR and other benchmark rates undermine the integrity of markets and shake the public’s trust in our financial system. These rates are at the absolute core of our economy. Banks must not falsely report rates to protect their reputation, or try to manipulate benchmarks to increase trading profits.
“Regrettably, with the announcement today of the CFTC findings against UBS, we have yet another blatant example of what bad actors can do when a benchmark rate's underlying market becomes virtually nonexistent.
“I believe that to ensure that a benchmark rate is reliable and has integrity, it should be anchored in real, observable transactions. When a benchmark is separated from real transactions, it is vulnerable to misconduct.
“Benchmark rates should be an honest reflection of market prices. Whether taking out a student loan, a small business loan or a mortgage, or putting savings in a money market fund, the American public depends on the honesty of benchmark rates.
“The CFTC will continue to use vigorously our enforcement and regulatory authorities to protect the public, promote market integrity and ensure that these rates are free of false information and manipulation.
“We are committed to the ongoing international efforts to develop benchmark rates that best serve the public as honest and reliable reflections of the underlying markets to which they refer.
“I want to thank the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement for their hard work on this case.”
Last Updated: December 19, 2012