UN­DER­FIRE bank Bar­clays has had doc­u­ments seized by cops as part of a probe into pos­si­ble in­ter­est rate ma­nip­u­la­tion.

The raid oc­curred at the bank’s of­fice in Mi­lan, Italy, as reg­u­la­tors in­ves­ti­gated fears that Euri­bor – the eu­ro­zone equiv­a­lent of the scan­dal-hit, Lon­don- based Li­bor in­ter-bank lend­ing rate – has been ma­nip­u­lated.

The search was or­dered by pros­e­cu­tors in the south­ern city of Trani, who have opened a crim­i­nal probe into pos­si­ble ma­nip­u­la­tion of the Euri­bor rate.

The move comes af­ter com­plaints were filed by two con­sumer groups. Two ju­di­cial sources also con­firmed the raid oc­curred last week, ac­cord­ing to Reuters.

Doc­u­ments, com­puter ma­te­rial and emails were seized, the con­sumer groups said in a joint state­ment.

They added that the Mi­lan raid oc­curred “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”.

Bar­clays was forced to pay a to­tal of £290m in fines to UK and U.S. reg­u­la­tors af­ter it ad­mit­ted fix­ing its Li­bor rate for com­mer­cial ad­van­tage.

The scan­dal led to the even­tual res­ig­na­tion of chair­man Marcus Agius, chief ex­ec­u­tive Bob Di­a­mond and chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer Jerry del Missier. All three men were later quizzed by MPs on the Trea­sury Se­lect Com­mit­tee.

The Li­bor scan­dal has sent shock waves through global bank­ing, and em­broiled both U.S. Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Ti­mothy Gei­th­ner and Bank of Eng­land gover­nor Sir Mervyn King.

Mean­while, the Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice in Bri­tain has moved a step closer to bring­ing charges against in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in rig­ging the key Li­bor in­ter­est rate af­ter con­clud­ing the law cov­ers the of­fences that led to Bar­clays be­ing fined.

The SFO’s di­rec­tor, David Green QC, said he is sat­is­fied ex­ist­ing crim­i­nal of­fences are ca­pa­ble of cov­er­ing the con­duct in­volved and added that the probe will cover other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

QUIZZED: For­mer Bar­clays boss Bob Di­a­mond

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.