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Wheatley calls for ‘urgent’ Libor reform

The future head of the Financial Conduct Authority has called for “urgent reform” of the way Libor is calculated.

By Nick Reeve | Published Aug 06, 2012 | comments

Martin Wheatley, head of the FSA’s conduct regulation unit, is leading a review of Libor that will determine the terms of an HM Treasury discussion paper to be published on August 10.

The interbank interest rate has been at the centre of a wide-ranging scandal after Barclays was fined £290m for attempting to manipulate the figure. Other banks are also being investigated.

The review is expected to address whether Libor should become a regulated activity. Currently, banks submit figures to the British Banking Authority without FSA oversight. The FSA and HM Treasury, along with the Bank of England, were party to talks on the same subject in February, before the rate-fixing scandal came to light.

Meanwhile, Serious Fraud Office (SFO) director David Green last week said he was “satisfied that existing criminal offences are capable of covering conduct in relation to the alleged manipulation of Libor”.

But Michael Clarke, a partner at law firm Clarke Willmott, said the SFO would require “really explicit emails” regarding how banks made money out of rate-fixing.

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