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BofA to pay $30 million to settle CFTC charges over U.S. Dollar ISDAFIX benchmark

Bank of America will pay $30 million to settle CFTC charges that the bank falsely reported on and tried to manipulate the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix, a global benchmark for interest-rate products.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged that the manipulation attempts and false reporting of the USD ISDAFIX occurred from January 2007 to December 2012, the agency said in a news release.

Bank of America attempted the manipulation of the benchmark captured each day at 11 a.m. ET by bidding, offering, or trading swap spreads and U.S. Treasuries and or near that time "to influence the final published USD ISDAFIX," the CFTC said, "and by making false, misleading, or knowingly inaccurate submissions … concerning swap rates and spreads."

Bank of America has “significantly enhanced our procedures to detect any inappropriate behavior,” a bank spokesman said.

The settlement is the latest involving the CFTC and banks over allegations of USD ISDAFIX manipulation. J.P. Morgan Chase in June announced it would pay $65 million to settle CFTC charges, Deutsche Bank Securities paid $70 million in a settlement announced in February, and Royal Bank of Scotland, Goldman Sachs and Citibank paid a combined $455 million in settlements reached in 2016 and 2017.