The large UK bank Barclays is not a household name here in the United States, but its actions reverberate throughout the global banking community. It only recently was found guilty of colluding with traders at other banks to fix the interest rates over the Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate, and the Euribor, the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, over a period of 5 years, which coincided with the largest banking collapse in world history. This interest rate fixing is believed to have been the root cause of the lending freeze which caused the Adjustable Rate Mortgage reset. As ARM’s issued by such giants as Washington Mutual, Countrywide and Wachovia were derived in part on these two exchanges, this caused a record number of defaults as interest rates climbed faster than anyone had predicted.
Already the repercussions are reverberating throughout the system. A total of 18 Banks such as Citigroup Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, UBS AG, ICAP Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Deutsche Bank AG are under investigation for colluding in the interest rate fixing scandal so far. Barclays already has had several lawsuits filed against it after these revelations came to light. Even with the resignation of the company chairman and the nearly half-billion dollar fine, things are looking bleak for these conspirators as calls are coming in rapidly for criminal proceedings against the executives of these banks.