RBS fighting Canadian court order on Libor

ROYAL Bank of Scotland is fighting a court order requiring it to co-operate with an international criminal investigation into allegations its staff fixed Libor rates.

A senior Canadian judge has ordered the bank, and several of its rivals, to hand over evidence to investigators from the Canadian Competition Bureau, a law enforcement agency. But a lawyer for the bank has asked the court to quash the order to turn over records, claiming they are protected under British privacy laws.

The Canadian case, which has not yet filed charges against any of the banks or individuals, has named six banks as being involved in fixing the Yen Libor rate. As well as RBS, the papers feature claims against London-based bankers from Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and UBS.

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It is understood to be one of several international investigations facing the banks suspected to be involved with Libor-rigging, along with that which saw Barclays fined £290 million and last week claimed the scalps of three executives, including CEO Bob Diamond.

Sources close to RBS said the Canadians should have to apply to the UK regulator, the Financial Services Authority, to get the information, in line with other investigating regulatory bodies.

In a statement RBS said: “RBS is co-operating with regulators in their investigations. We want to cooperate with the CCB and have proposed ways to do that which allow us to comply with our English legal obligations.”

ERIKKA ASKELAND