By Andrew Mayeda
OTTAWA – Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has started turning over documents to Canada’s Competition Bureau as the regulator probes possible manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, court records show.
The Canadian unit of the Edinburgh-based bank delivered on May 22 “most” documents the antitrust regulator had requested, according to an affidavit filed in an Ontario court last week by Affleck Greene McMurtry LLP, the Toronto-based law firm representing RBS.
The bank provided the records after deciding to abandon its challenge to a May 2011 court order to produce them. Canadian officials are probing the conduct of at least seven firms including Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc to determine whether they conspired to fix prices on derivatives linked to the Yen.
“RBS continues to cooperate with Canada’s Competition Bureau in this matter,” spokesman Ed Canaday said in an e-mail. Gabrielle Tasse, a spokeswoman for the bureau, said she can’t comment on an ongoing investigation.
The RBS move to abandon its challenge “allows the bureau to move forward with its investigation of alleged collusive conduct into the setting of Yen Libor rates,” the Competition Bureau said in a May 31 statement from Ottawa. RBS has until June 28 to comply with the order, the bureau said.
An Ontario Superior Court judge granted an order in May 2011 compelling the firms under investigation to turn over records such as communications between derivatives traders and individuals responsible for making Libor submissions.
Libor is calculated by a poll carried out daily by Thomson Reuters Corp. on behalf of the British Bankers’ Association that asks firms to estimate how much it would cost to borrow from each other for different periods and in different currencies.