By Ann Saphir
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - A San Francisco County
supervisor is calling for an investigation into possible losses
to the city and county linked to a widely used interest-rate
benchmark that regulators say was manipulated.
John Avalos is "looking to call a hearing to review the
city's finances and potential losses" from swaps based on the
London interbank offered rate, Avalos aide Jeremy Pollock said
in an interview.
At issue are potential losses on swaps tied to Libor, a
widely used benchmark little remarked outside financial circles
until last June when the UK and the United States fined British
bank Barclays $450 million for fixing rates during the credit
Swiss bank UBS has since reached a $1.5 billion settlement
for its role in the scandal, and Royal Bank of Scotland is
braced for as much as $800 million in fines.
Several California cities, counties and a Bay Area public
utility earlier this month filed federal lawsuits seeking
damages for antitrust and other violations related to alleged
Other claims have come from local governments like the city
of Baltimore, large investors, home owners who say rate rigging
made their mortgages more expensive, and small U.S. banks.
A statement from community activists and a labor union
distributed to the press suggested an investigation could lead
to legal action, but Pollock said he was unsure if that would be
So far he has not identified any swap that appears to be
"toxic," he said, and it is unclear how much San Francisco was
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