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Group of banks subpoenaed in U.S. Libor probe

Barclays Plc Chairman Marcus Agius resigned after the bank was fined a record £290-million for trying to rig interest rates.

Jason Alden/Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays PLC are among a handful of banks recently subpoenaed in a joint New York-Connecticut investigation of possible manipulation of the Libor benchmark international lending rates, according to a person familiar with the probe.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen have been looking into the possible rigging and manipulation of Libor by global banks for months, their offices have said.

As part of that investigation, subpoenas were sent in recent weeks to Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and HSBC Holdings PLC, in addition to JPMorgan, Deutsche and Barclays, said the person who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

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Earlie, UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. received subpoenas as well, the source said.

The subpoenas seek communication between executives related to possible collusion and other conduct that may have played a role in alleged rate manipulation, among other information, the person said.

Jaclyn M. Falkowski, a spokeswoman for Mr. Jepsen, declined to comment on the subpoenas. Last month, Ms. Falkowski said Mr. Jepsen and Mr. Schneiderman hoped to provide restitution to state agencies, municipalities and other entities that may have been harmed by any illegal conduct.

Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for Mr. Schneiderman, declined to comment.

Authorities around the world are investigating banks over alleged manipulation of the rates.

Most of the banks have disclosed receiving demands for information from numerous agencies; others declined to comment.

Libor, the London interbank offered rate, is compiled from estimates by banks of how much they believe they have to pay to borrow from each other. It influences rates on many lending transactions, including mortgages, student loans and credit cards.

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In June, Barclays was fined $450-million by British and U.S. authorities for manipulating the rate.

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