Serious Fraud Office concludes investigation into LIBOR manipulation

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced the closure of its investigation into LIBOR manipulation. Following a thorough investigation and a detailed review of the available evidence, there will be no further charges brought in this case. This decision was taken in line with the test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

The SFO’s investigation into LIBOR manipulation has seen charges of conspiracy to defraud brought against 13 individuals. In October 2014, Peter Johnson pleaded guilty to manipulating the US Dollar LIBOR. This was, in fact, the first criminal conviction for a LIBOR offence in the UK.

Jonathan Matthew, Jay Merchant and Alex Pabon were convicted by a jury of the same charges in July 2016.

In August 2015, Tom Hayes was convicted on eight counts of conspiracy to defraud in relation the manipulation of Japanese Yen LIBOR.

Between January 2016 and April 2017, six individuals were acquitted by jury of manipulating Yen LIBOR and two acquitted of manipulating US Dollar LIBOR.

All strands of the SFO’s investigation into LIBOR manipulation are now closed.

Neil Williams, legal director of business crime solicitor Rahman Ravelli, commented: “This announcement brings to an end an investigation that began more than seven years ago. It has attracted headlines, not least because of some of the very large fines that have been levied on some banks.’’

He continued: “As ever in cases of this nature, the difficulties in proving cases against individuals have been apparent. Considering the number of individuals charged, the SFO has achieved what can best be described as a limited amount of success. The outcomes have proved to be a mixed bag.’’

In conclusion, Williams stated: “The announcement makes it clear that the SFO is prepared to settle for its limited success and move on. It would not be surprising if those at the top of the SFO are now glad to put LIBOR firmly behind them. They can now focus instead on the cases that they wish to pursue and pursue them in the manner they deem appropriate.’’

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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