Alleged Libor rigging nets three arrests

Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Bank regulators in Britain said Tuesday they arrested three men on charges related to manipulation of an interest rate benchmark.

The New York Times reported the three men are between 33 and 47 years of age and that they are British.

The Serious Fraud Office, which announced the arrest, is one of several agencies in Britain and the United States investigating manipulation of the London inter-bank offered rate or Libor, which is used to set rates for trillions of dollars in consumer and business loans.

More than a dozen big banks are under investigation, the Times said.

Specifically, British bank Barclays was the first bank caught up in the scandal. Authorities announced in the summer that the bank had agreed to pay $450 million to settle charges of rate manipulation. Soon after that, several high level bank officials resigned, including bank Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond Jr.

The Swiss bank UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland have also been caught up in the affair. UBS is close to reaching a deal with regulators to settle rate manipulation charges. RBS has said it would likely announce a deal with regulators before quarterly report release in February.

The three arrested are the first arrests announced concerning the scandal.

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