Bloomberg is reporting this morning that prosecutors in the U.K. are planning to place former rate setters and traders at UBS AG (NYSE:UBS), Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) (NYSE:BCS), and Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) under arrest. Bloomberg cites an anonymous source, saying authorities want to question them about the roles they played in the Libor scandal. The arrests are expected to happen sometime in the next month, as prosecutors continue to collect evidence.
Forty investigators at the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are probing a scandal involving London’s interbank offered rate, which is a financial benchmark used globally for products worth over $360 trillion. The investigation began in July, when legislators in the U.K. requested it after Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) (NYSE:BCS) was fined $462 million for manipulating rates. Worldwide regulators are looking into claims that banks may have altered submissions to set Libor rates so that traders would benefit, or look as if they were more financially healthy than they actually were.
UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) has already terminated more than 25 employees after its internal examination of manipulation of interest rates. At least 14 traders have been linked to wrongdoing at UBS AG (NYSE:UBS). An internal probe at RBS has resulted in four traders being fired as well.
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Currently there are multiple investigations into interest rate manipulation all over the world. The U.K.’s SFO is cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Meanwhile, civil investigations are also being conducted by the fraud division of the DOJ, the U.K. Financial Services Authority, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.