The cum-ex scandal has already been spoken of as the next Libor scandal. It is similar in that cum-ex trades were apparently so widespread as to be common practice within the industry. Likewise, cum-ex trades may become a once-common practice which could later be found to be unlawful.
However, if the SFO wants to sink its teeth into this issue then it must surely keep in mind that it only secured five convictions in relation to its Libor investigation, despite how widespread that practice once was.
One of the British former bankers on trial in Germany, Martin Shields, has told the court that cum-ex trades were not “clandestine” but were rather the “clear and openly communicated expectation of most banks and their customers”.
If cum-ex trades were indeed the robbery of the century, it seems to have been carried out in broad daylight.
Bambos Tsiattalou is the founding partner of Stokoe Partnership Solicitors