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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Citigroup settles anti-trust Libor court claims

Second lender to resolve claims by so-called "over-the-counter" investors

Citigroup has agreed to pay US$130 million to settle private US anti-trust litigation accusing it of conspiring with rivals to manipulate the Libor benchmark interest rate.

The bank is the second to resolve claims by so-called "over-the-counter" investors that transacted directly with banks on a panel to determine Libor, according to filings late Monday with the US District Court in Manhattan.

Barclays, the British bank, reached a similar settlement in November 2015 for $120m.

Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos said the New York-based bank was pleased to resolve the matter. Court approval is required. Citigroup did not admit wrongdoing.

Banks use Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, to set rates on hundreds of trillions of dollars of credit card, mortgage, student loan and other transactions, and to determine the cost of borrowing from one another.

Investors including the city of Baltimore and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut had accused 16 banks of conspiring to manipulate Libor in the private litigation, which began in 2011.

The lawsuit is among many in the Manhattan court accusing banks of colluding to rig rates or prices in various financial and commodities markets. Others suing over Libor have included so-called bondholder plaintiffs and exchange-based plaintiffs.

A hearing to consider final approval of Barclays' settlement is scheduled for October 23, court records show.

* Reuters