The US Department of Justice has charged two managers at French bank Société Générale for their alleged role in a Libor manipulation scheme.
The bank’s global head of treasury Danielle Sindzingre, and Paris head of treasury Muriel Bescond have been charged with one count of conspiracy to transmit false reports impacting commodity market information and four counts of transmitting the reports.
The case alleges that Sindzingre and Bescond told their teams to artificially lower the Libor rates they put in, meaning that the bank would appear to be getting a better rate on its borrowings than it really was.
The DoJ says this materially affected Libor rates several times, causing an estimated $170m (£133m) in financial market harm.
DoJ Criminal Division Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco says: “The allegations in today’s indictment suggest complete and total disregard for the integrity of the financial markets and for innocent consumers and everyday people whose personal finances hinge on the interest rates they pay on various loans.”
The indictments are the latest in a string against banks globally. Earlier this month, it was reported that another US agency has launched a $400bn claim against UK banks RBS, Lloyds and Barclays.