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UK business secretary says bankers should be asked to pay fines linked to LIBOR

Britain's business secretary says bankers who manipulated a key interest rate benchmark should be required to pay penalties levied by U.S. and UK regulators.

Vince Cable's remarks to the BBC came as the Royal Bank of Scotland braced for fines for its role in the manipulation of LIBOR, a key interest rate which affects trillions of dollars' worth of loans and other financial instruments.

Taxpayers own 81 percent of RBS after bailing it out at the start of the economic crisis. The notion that the taxpayer should bear the cost for the bad behavior of errant bankers is certain to touch off outrage.

Cable made clear Wednesday that the fines should be paid from staff bonuses, but acknowledged he had no power to force them to act.