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Citigroup Agrees to Pay $100M to 42 States in Libor Probe

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Citigroup Inc. agreed to pay 42 states a combined $100 million to resolve a probe into fraudulent conduct tied to interest-rate manipulation that impacted financial instruments worth trillions of dollars.

The settlement was announced Friday by several of the states, who alleged Citigroup misrepresented the integrity of the Libor benchmark to state and local governmental, not-for-profit organizations and institutional trading counterparties.

“Our office has zero tolerance for fraudulent or manipulative conduct that undermines our financial markets,” New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement. “Financial institutions have a basic responsibility to play by the rules — and we will continue to hold those accountable who don’t.”

The accord is the latest development in probes by governments around the globe into banks’ manipulation of benchmark interest rates, one of the key scandals that led to a cultural overhaul of the industry over the past decade. Global fines have topped $9 billion. In October, Deutsche Bank paid 45 states $220 million in penalties and disgorgements to resolve U.S. and U.K. investigations, and a unit pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with its role in the scandal.

Citibank didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.