SINGAPORE June 14 (Reuters) - Singapore’s central bank has censured 20 banks following its review into the setting of benchmark rates in the city-state and ordered them to set aside additional reserves for a year.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Friday that it had also found 133 traders had tried to inappropriately influence the rates. Some of their cases have now been referred to the city-state’s white collar crime unit and the Attorney General Chambers.
UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland and ING have been ordered to set aside the most in additional reserves, with each having to post between an extra S$1 billion ($799.52 million) and S$1.2 billion with the central bank.
The reprimands come nearly a year after the Libor scandal prompted MAS to order banks to carry out reviews into the way they set benchmarks for borrowing costs and foreign exchange rates.
The Association of Banks in Singapore and the Singapore Foreign Exchange Markets Committee, which have been overseeing a review into the way the benchmarks are set, also announced plans to overhaul the rate-setting process.
This includes stopping the publication of the U.S.-dollar linked Singapore-Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor), a benchmark of borrowing costs in the city-state, and rates for the Malaysian ringgit and Vietnamese dong.
Reuters reported in January how reviews by banks had thrown up evidence that traders were manipulating rates in the offshore foreign exchange market.