Dutch central bank imposes measures on Rabobank over Libor affair

Dutch central bank imposes measures on Rabobank over Libor affair

The Dutch central bank (DNB) has taken actions on Rabobank in response to misconduct relating to the submission of rates for the calculation of the Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) and Euribor(Euro Interbank Offered Rate) interest rates. At the insistence of DNB, Rabobank has taken disciplinary action in its organisation and has cancelled bonus payments. Rabobank has also taken steps, in close consultation with DNB, to reinforce its internal organisation in order to prevent future occurrence of similar events and to improve its corporate culture.In addition to these measures, Rabobank will pay € 70 million in a transaction with the Dutch Public Prosecutor (DPP) to settle the Libor and Euribor case. DNB and the DPP coordinated their operations for the purpose of a joint Dutch government action. As a prudential regulator DNB focused on (remediation) measures while the DPP, as a criminal authority, focused on a punitive sanction.

Investigation conducted by DNB (jointly with the AFM) shows that internal operating procedures were not in order
DNB conducted a comprehensive investigation, to which the Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) made a substantial contribution. The investigation revealed that Rabobank’s internal organisation was not sufficiently in order, allowing for misconduct in the submission of rates for the calculation of Libor and Euribor. DNB believes that between 2006 and late 2012, Rabobank seriously violated the requirements governing sound and proper business operations. Rabobank has cooperated fully with the investigation.

Enhancement of Rabobank’s operating procedures
To prevent events of a similar nature from future occurrence, Rabobank, in close consultation with DNB, has taken a series of measures aiming to strengthen the internal organisation. Rabobank introduced a new Libor procedure and implemented substantial improvement measures, including two worldwide change programmes, one about culture and conduct and one to improve compliance and risk management within the bank.

Disciplinary and bonus measures at Rabobank
At DNB’s insistence, Rabobank also took additional disciplinary measures against traders and (senior) managers. Several responsible traders and managers have left the bank or were given lower ranking positions without similar management responsibilities. In addition, over €4 million in bonuses to this group have been cancelled.Also, the Executive Board has forfeited all its unpaid bonuses which were awarded in the past years, in the amount of € 2 million.

Strict supervision to reduce the likelihood of repetition
In the context of DNB’s prudential supervision, forward-looking improvement measures are crucial as they enable Rabobank to actively address risks. DNB will closely monitor the implementation of the various measures and will intensify its supervision if and when needed.

Future of Rabobank
DNB respects the decision of Mr Moerland to step down as Chairman of the Executive Board of Rabobank Group as per today. DNB expects that Rabobank, with Mr Minderhoud as interim chairman and two other new Executive Board members, will continue the vigorous implementation of the improvement programmes, which have been launched, also in response to the Libor investigations.

Simultaneous action with international authorities
In addition to DNB (jointly with the AFM) and the DPP, the US Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the Japanese Financial Services Agency have conducted investigations and imposed measures in relation to the Libor affair at Rabobank. As Rabobank’s home supervisor, DNB has contributed to the coordination of the simultaneous publication of these measures in close cooperation with these agencies.A summary of the findings of DNB can be found at the website of Rabobank.

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