Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (63)

Michael McGrath


62 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if in view of reports of market manipulation of rates in the London inter-bank lending market he has asked the regulatory authorities to investigate if similar practices took place in the Dublin inter-bank market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34204/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

As stated in my reply to the question (Ref No. 33569/12) put down by the Deputy on 10 July, a number of international investigations are ongoing, including one by the European Commission, and the British Bankers Association is currently undertaking a review of the way Libor is set and is expected to publish its findings shortly. Euribor-European Banking Federation is the body responsible for Euribor fixings. It is an international non-profit making association under Belgian law founded in 1999 with the launch of the Euro and based in Brussels. Its members are national banking associations in the Member States of the EU which are involved in the Eurozone.

The choice of banks quoting for Euribor is based on market criteria and geographical spread, to ensure that the diversity of the euro money market is adequately reflected, thereby making Euribor an efficient and representative benchmark. Both AIB Bank and Bank of Ireland currently sit on the list of contributing banks.

A representative panel of 43 banks provide daily quotes of the rate, rounded to three decimal places, that each panel bank believes one prime bank is quoting to another prime bank for interbank term deposits within the Euro zone, for maturity ranging from one week to one year. The published rate is a rounded, truncated mean of the quoted rates: the highest and lowest 15% of quotes are eliminated (the 6 highest and lowest), the remainder are averaged and the result is rounded to 3 decimal places.

In relation to the Dublin Interbank market, upon the Euro's introduction, no such reference rate mechanism exists. The majority of fixings used in the Dublin market are those set by Euribor and Libor set in conjunction with the EBA.

The Central Bank of Ireland has informed me that they have not received any complaints from the regulated banks nor have there been any issues raised with the Bank on this issue. In the course of its normal regulatory engagement with the banks it will raise this topic as appropriate.