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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Barclays    BARC   GB0031348658

BARCLAYS (BARC)
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New York lender sues big banks over alleged Libor manipulation

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07/30/2012 | 03:20pm CEST
JPMorgan Chase & Co's international headquarters are seen on Park Avenue in New York

(Reuters) - A New York lender has sued a group of large banks on the panel that sets a key global interest rate, saying it was cheated out of interest income through alleged rate manipulation.

The lawsuit, filed last week in District Court in Manhattan, seeks class-action status on behalf of similar lenders.

Berkshire Bank, which is not connected to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (>> Berkshire Hathaway Inc.), says borrowers were able to take advantage of artificially low interest rates because of the big banks' "unlawful suppression" of benchmark rates.

Defendants named in the suit include Bank of America Corp (>> Bank of America Corp), Barclays Plc (>> Barclays PLC), JPMorgan Chase & Co (>> JPMorgan Chase & Co.) and Citigroup Inc (>> Citigroup Inc.).

At least one other community bank has filed similar legal claims, a sign that the rate manipulation scandal is having a broad impact. The Community Bank & Trust of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, said in a lawsuit several months ago that alleged rate rigging had kept its interest margins artificially low. That lawsuit also is pending in District Court in Manhattan.

Berkshire Bank had $854 million in assets at the end of last year, according to its website. It has 10 branches in New York and one in New Jersey.

The reliability of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, which underpins transactions worth trillions of dollars, has been rattled by the rate manipulation accusations. Libor is used to set interest rates on credit cards, student loans and mortgages.

Big banks already face an array of Libor lawsuits by some big investors and local governments. Bank defendants have said in court papers seeking dismissal of these lawsuits that plaintiffs have failed to show banks acted to restrict competition, even if rates were improperly stated.

Berkshire Bank said in court papers dated July 25 that a misrepresentation in the referenced U.S. dollar Libor rate on the date on which a loan resets will generally reduce the lender's interest income.

"It was not only foreseeable but obvious that by manipulating the rate of U.S. dollar Libor, defendants would impair the interest income received by plaintiff and other lenders providing U.S. dollar Libor-tied loans," Berkshire said.

The case is Berkshire Bank vs. Bank of America Corp and others, Case No. 12-5723, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Martha Graybow and Lisa Von Ahn)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BANK OF AMERICA 0.41% 29.4 Delayed Quote.-0.81%
BARCLAYS -1.04% 192.98 Delayed Quote.-4.01%
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY -0.01% 287600 Delayed Quote.-3.35%
BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. 0.00%-End-of-day quote.0.00%
CITIGROUP 0.62% 66.75 Delayed Quote.-10.29%
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Financials ( GBP)
Sales 2018 21 382 M
EBIT 2018 5 933 M
Net income 2018 1 521 M
Debt 2018 -
Yield 2018 3,36%
P/E ratio 2018 21,25
P/E ratio 2019 9,00
Capi. / Sales 2018 1,56x
Capi. / Sales 2019 1,49x
Capitalization 33 283 M
Chart BARCLAYS
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Barclays Technical Analysis Chart | BARC | GB0031348658 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends BARCLAYS
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Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 2,28  GBP
Spread / Average Target 17%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
James Edward Staley Group Chief Executive Officer & Director
John McFarlane Group Chairman
Paul Compton Group Chief Operating Officer
Tushar Morzaria Group Finance Director & Executive Director
Reuben Jeffery Independent Non-Executive Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
BARCLAYS-4.01%44 126
JP MORGAN CHASE & COMPANY0.90%367 375
INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA-8.06%308 280
BANK OF AMERICA-0.81%296 880
WELLS FARGO-9.38%267 911
CHINA CONSTRUCTION BANK CORPORATION-5.86%262 973