Goldman Sachs Group has agreed to pay a fine of $120m to settle allegations by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that it manipulated ISDAFIX benchmark rates.

“Goldman’s unlawful conduct involved multiple traders, including the head of Goldman’s Interest Rate Products Trading Group in the United States,” CFTC said.

The regulator alleged that the US bank traded in interest rate swap spreads, US Treasuries, and Eurodollar futures contracts to deliberately influence the published USD ISDAFIX and benefit its derivatives positions.

CFTC captured emails and audio recordings, where Goldman traders were found discussing plans to move the benchmark rate in direction that benefitted their positions.

The bank’s traders were found discussing trades based on the rigged USD ISDAFIX as being based on the "jacked price" and not the "fair price".

The regulator said that Goldman’s cooperation in the early stages of the probe “was not satisfactory” and that the bank failed to produce certain communications and documents that were necessary in the identification of the wrongdoings.  

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CFTC director of enforcement Aitan Goelman said: “This matter, the third enforcement action relating to the ISDAFIX benchmark, demonstrates the breadth of this kind of misconduct across the industry, and within Goldman, the extent of the misconduct across trading desks and product lines.”

Goldman Sachs agreed to the fine without admitting or denying the charges.