Italian police raid Barclays Milan offices, sources report
Italian prosecutors open a criminal probe into the possible Euribor manipulation
By CFOWorld staff | CFO UK | Published 11:55, 31 July 12
Barclays has been the subject of a police probe into potential European rate rigging as police seized documents from its Milan offices, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Italian prosecutors ordered the search, which took place last Friday, after opening a criminal probe into the possible Euribor manipulation following complaints filed by two consumer groups, Adusbef and Federconsumatori.
Barclays has been fined over £290 million by US and British authorities for manipulating Libor benchmark lending rates. Euribor is the European benchmark lending rate for euros.
Neither Barclays nor any other bank had been put under formal investigation, judicial sources told Reuters.
Barclays in Italy was not immediately available for comment. Barclays in London made no immediate comment.
The consumer groups said in a joint statement that documents, computer material and emails were seized at Barclays Milan offices "with the aim of looking for evidence that Barclays also manipulated Euribor, as it did with Libor, with a negative impact on mortgage rates paid by Italians."
Fourty-three banks, including Italian lenders Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and UBI Banca, sit on the Euribor panel.
The Italian probe is one in a series of investigations into suspected rigging of euro interest rates.
Adusbef and Federconsumatori estimate 2.5 million Italian households may have been hurt by the alleged lending rate manipulation, estimating the total financial damage at €3 billion.
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