According to a Reuters report, inter-dealer broker ICAP plc (LON:IAP) has filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman’s office related to regulatory prejudice in the case of the investigation of LIBOR Japanese yen manipulation.
The company was charged by European regulatory agencies with “facilitating” a cartel arrangement with major banks amongst which Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, RBS and UBS. ICAP plc (LON:IAP) rejected the regulators claims and did not enter into a settlement agreement like the big banks involved in the case.
The Head of the EU’s Ombudsman’s Office Communication Unit, Ben Hagard stated to Reuters that the complaint was filed on the 8th of October.
The EU Ombudsman is investigating European institutions for any abuse of power, unfairness or other maladministration.
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While the powers of The European Ombudsman are limited, it can investigate complaints against most European Union institutions. The problem is that even after the conclusion of the investigation and a subsequent official recommendation, the institution doesn’t have binding powers to enforce compliance with its decisions.
According to recent statistics, the compliance with the EU’s Ombudsman’s suggested course of action stands at about 82%. The ombudsman’s powers are limited to EU institutions, local regulators are not obliged in any way to consider the European institution’s stance.
The company has been heavily intertwined in the LIBOR related investigations as U.S. and British authorities fined the company last year $87 million and filed criminal charges against three former employees over their involvement in the LIBOR interest rate manipulation scandal.
In a separate ruling, ICAP plc (LON:IAP) has been issued a $65 million civil monetary penalty by the CFTC for alleged manipulation, false reporting and attempting to manipulate the Yen LIBOR rate.
Back in August the company announced that its arm responsible for operating benchmarks for the financial services industry that it has voluntarily adopted the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks, which are likely to form the basis of impending European legislation.