U.K. prosecutors may bring another round of charges against traders and brokers linked to the Libor scandal as soon as next month, according to lawyers familiar with the investigation, now in its fifth year.
Bloomberg reports that the Serious Fraud Office will probably file the additional charges as soon as 21st October, when a court hearing is scheduled for three men who have already been arrested in the U.K. probe, said the lawyers, who asked not to be identified because prosecutors’ plans haven’t been made public.
About six people may be charged with conspiring to rig the benchmark interest rate, the lawyers said.
Seven people have been charged in parallel U.S. and U.K. probes into the rigging of the London interbank offered rate after the U.S. Justice Department yesterday filed a criminal complaint against three former ICAP employees, two of whom are British. The SFO has been criticized for lagging behind its U.S. counterparts in an investigation of a rate that is closely associated with the country’s financial industry.
'The laying of charges against ICAP employees in the U.S. will increase pressure on the SFO to act', said Peter Lodder, a former chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales and a barrister at 2 Bedford Row in London. 'With a new director, and a significant change of approach in favor of commencing criminal prosecutions, the SFO will not wish to appear to be a step behind the U.S. authorities'.
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image: © James Cridland