Swiss Commission Investing International Banking Collusion

The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) is investigating collusion between 12 U.S., European and Japanese banks to manipulate benchmark interbank lending rates such as the LIBOR (which the Swiss use in setting monetary policy) and TIBOR.

COMCO says the following banks are under investigation: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Citigroup (NYSE:C), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HBC), JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Rabobank Groep N.V., Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (NYSE:RBC), Societe Generale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and UBS (NYSE:UBS).

In a statement COMCO said “Derivative traders working for a number of financial institutions might have manipulated these submissions by coordinating their behavior, thereby influencing these reference rates in their favor.” A COMCO official also said “We are in contact with the U.S. Department of Justice and the EU Competition Commission. At present we are focusing on the problems that appeared in the Swiss market. We are at the beginning of our investigation.”

The LIBOR rate has a far-reaching impact on worldwide financial markets including an estimated $350 trillion worth of derivatives.

Here’s how these banks are reacting to the news:

Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C): C shares recently traded at $33.16, up $1.17, or 3.66%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $21.40 to $49.60. Volume today was 22,192,390 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 52,769,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 9.01, while trailing earnings are $3.69 per share.

Credit Suisse Group (NYSE:CS): CS shares recently traded at $27.94, up $0.79, or 2.91%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $22.23 to $47.63. Volume today was 855,820 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,437,860 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 10.10, while trailing earnings are $2.78 per share.

Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB): DB shares recently traded at $44.52, up $0.25, or 0.56%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $28.57 to $66.00. Volume today was 1,111,236 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,887,050 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 7.23, while trailing earnings are $6.18 per share.

HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE:HBC): HBC shares recently traded at $44.23, up $1.06, or 2.46%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $35.72 to $59.14. Volume today was 545,020 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,492,160 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 9.25, while trailing earnings are $4.79 per share.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): JPM shares recently traded at $38.36, up $0.81, or 2.16%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $27.85 to $48.36. Volume today was 12,461,165 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 37,694,700 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 8.58, while trailing earnings are $4.48 per share.

Regal Beloit Corporation (NYSE:RBC): RBC shares recently traded at $61.60, up $1.93, or 3.23%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $41.65 to $76.65. Volume today was 125,732 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 317,526 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 16.85, while trailing earnings are $3.66 per share.

UBS AG (NYSE:UBS): UBS shares recently traded at $14.64, up $0.54, or 3.83%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $10.41 to $20.08. Volume today was 1,905,178 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 4,445,000 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 9.40, while trailing earnings are $1.56 per share.