UBS poised to quit scandal-hit Euribor panel

UBS poised to quit scandal-hit Euribor panel

ZURICH - Swiss financial giant UBS said Tuesday it was poised to quit the panel which sets the Euribor benchmark rate for lending in euros between banks, becoming the latest player to leave.

"We have decided to withdraw from the Euribor panel and to focus on our core funding markets, the Swiss franc and US dollar," a UBS spokesman told AFP in an email.

The comments followed a report by the business daily Agefi, which in its Tuesday edition said that UBS was set to leave the Euribor-EBF, the panel which fixes the benchmark.

The banking sector has been rocked by repeated scandals over the manipulation of Euribor and its London-set equivalent, the Libor.

In December, British, Swiss and US regulators fined UBS a total of 1.4 billion Swiss francs (S1.8 billion) for having manipulated the Libor.

In the wake of the scandals, several banks announced that they would no longer participate in the Euribor panel, among them Germany's BayernLB and US company Citigroup.

Both the Euribor and Libor are estimates based on average lending rates determined on a daily basis by participating banks which submit their own rates to the panel.

The Euribor-EBF, which is based in Brussels, is currently studying a raft of proposals from European regulators who are seeking to improve the way the panel works.

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