Reuters reports that such discussions are preliminary, and it is unclear if regulators will enter these talks, aimed at resolving allegations that banks attempted to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a benchmark that underpins hundreds of trillions of dollars in contracts.
Still, there are powerful incentives for the banks to enter joint negotiations.
Barclays Plc was the first to settle with U.S. and British regulators, paying a $453m penalty and admitting to its role in a deal announced June 27th. Its CEO, Bob Diamond, abruptly quit the next week, bowing to public pressure and erosion of the bank's reputation.
The sources told Reuters that none of the banks involved now want to be second in line for fear that they will get similarly hostile treatment from politicians and the public. Bank discussions about a group settlement initially took place before the Barclays agreement, and picked back up in the aftermath.
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In the meantime, Fox Business Network reports that BlackRock, the world’s largest money management firm, is weighing what action it should take, if any, in light of allegations that major global banks manipulated a key interest rate that could have depressed investment returns for many of its customers.
A person at the firm with direct knowledge of the matter says the firm will have a better handle on its decision, including the possibility of litigation against big banks at the center of the scandal, within the next week or so.