The European Union fined eight financial institutions a combined total of $2.3 billion over their alleged role in the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The manipulation of LIBOR is one of the largest banking scandals of our time. According to the Economist, when the rate is manipulated, it affects payments for more than $800 trillion of financial instruments and 99 percent of all commercial products including mortgages, credit cards and pensions, as reported by CNN. Five other financial institutions, including Barclays, R.B.S. and UBS, have paid more than $3 billion combined to regulators in the United States, Britain and Switzerland over the manipulation of the LIBOR rate.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a faith-based antipoverty organization, releases the following statement:
"These fines are a step in the right direction. This behavior hurts all of us and destroys the fabric of our economy.
"The religious community is concerned with how this manipulative behavior impacts the most vulnerable."
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 300 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org