By Natasha Roberts
Date: Friday 06 Jul 2012
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed on Friday that it has officially launched a criminal investigation into the now infamous LIBOR scandal involving Barclays.
Prior to this point the SFO had only said that it was considering whether there was a case to bring a prosecution.
On June 27th the Financial Services Authority (FSA) fined Barclays for trying to boost their profits by filing misleading interbank borrowing figures, and later filed artificially low figures to hide the level of financial pressure the bank was under.
The bank was forced to pay a fine of £59.5m after reducing its LIBOR submissions during the financial crisis as a result of senior management’s concerns over negative media comment.
The misconduct also included the bank's attempts to boost their profits by influencing the Libor rate.
Critically, the bank also failed to deal with issues relating to its LIBOR submissions when these were escalated to Barclays’ Investment Banking compliance function in 2007 and 2008.
The SFO, which is the government department responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious and complex fraud, has refused to disclose which people or person it is investigating.
Since the scandal broke, three of the bank's most senior executives handed in their resignations, namely Chief Executive Bob Diamond, Chief Operating Officer Jerry del Missier and Chairman Marcus Agius.
The bank has had to pay a larger fine to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
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