Serious Fraud Office expects more Libor charges in 2014
The British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) expects to bring more charges against those implicated in the Libor scandal in 2014. The head of the SFO has described the investigation as an “enormous” undertaking.
The Libor scandal was a series of fraudulent actions that saw the London Interbank Offered Rate being rigged due to banks falsely inflating or deflating their rates. This allowed them to profit from trades and give the appearance that they were more creditworthy than they were in reality.
A number of financial institutions have been fined for their part in the scandal. The Royal Bank of Scotland was ordered to pay £390m in February, whilst Barclays and UBS have had to shell out £276m and £940m respectively.
So far three individuals – Tom Hayes, Terry Farr and James Gilmour – have been charged with conspiracy to defraud. In October, the SFO announced that it had sent letters to 22 people that had been identified as potential co-conspirators in the scandal informing them that they may be investigated and charged.
In an interview with the Telegraph, David Green, director-general of the SFO, commented on the Libor scandal. He said, “I am sure there will be more charges against others.”
The agency has come under pressure to deliver answers. Green added that the every case the SFO does is “make or break” and that “2014 will be about putting the past behind us”.
The Libor investigations have meant that the UK SFO has had to work closely with its US counterpart and the tensions this created were acknowledged.
Green said, “In the second half of this year, we have forged a productive and sensible relationship with the US Department of Justice and we are working together on a number of different things. The UK and US both have very strong bribery and corruption laws and we have many mutual interests.”
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