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Serious Fraud Office launches Libor investigation

On Friday SFO director David Green formally accepted the Libor matter for investigation

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The Serious Fraud Office on Friday formally decided to launch an investigation into the rate fixing scandal that has engulfed Barclays bank this week and led to the resignation of three of its senior executives.

The SFO had said it was considering an investigation into the Libor-fixing scandal but on Friday SFO director David Green QC formally accepted the LIBOR matter for investigation, the fraud office confirmed in a short statement.

The fraud office’s investigation follows investigations by US and UK regulators which led to a £290 million fine for Barclays for its involvement in rigging the interbank lending rate.

Barclays boss Bob Diamond resigned with immediate effect on Tuesday a day after the bank’s chairman Marcus Agius announced he would quit. COO Jerry del Missier has also resigned.

Diamond faced a cross-party parliamentary inquiry on Thursday where he was expected to expose senior officials at the Bank of England for their knowledge of the Libor-fixing scandal which took place between 2005 and 2009. However Diamond appearance revealed little.

He called the behaviour of those responsible for Libor rigging at the bank "reprehensible" and said he felt “physically ill” when he heard about the rate rigging last week.

The SFO is responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious and complex fraud.

photo credit: Reuters


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