Britain's Lloyds Banking Group said Monday it will pay £218 million in fines to British and US regulators, becoming the latest global lender to be fined for rigging inter-bank lending rates. The punishment, worth $370 million or 276 million euros, is the latest twist in the long-running Libor scandal that has badly tarnished the reputation of London as a financial centre. Lloyds's settlement is the seventh joint penalty handed out by the US and Britain as part of a long-running probe into attempts to manipulate benchmarks that set rates for trillions of dollars of financial transactions. Lloyds Banking Group said in its statement "it has reached settlements totalling £218 million" regarding its submissions to the British Bankers' Association (BBA) London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and Sterling Repo Rate.
By Moriah Costa WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Contracts to buy previously-owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in June, but the data did little to change perceptions the housing sector was gradually recovering after slumping in late 2013. Another report on Monday showed services sector activity held at a 4-1/2 year-high in July, a sign of economic momentum early in the third quarter. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, fell 1.1 percent to 102.7. "The June pullback could be seen largely as a correction in a broadly improving trend, with housing data remaining somewhat choppy as the sector gradually continues to recover," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities in New York.