Sunday, 1 July 2012

Every Brit needs the FBI, because ...

... our Government is not going to remove banking criminals from society, prosecute them, and place them behind bars, as an example to others that crime will not pay, for at least 30 years.

The Sunday Times writers Iain Dey, Oliver Shah and Karl West write today ...
FBI probes Barclays rates traders.

Libor scandal widens as Americans pursue criminal investigations and RBS sacks 10 dealers linked to plot.
FOURTEEN Barclays traders at the centre of the global market-fixing scandal are being investigated by the FBI, America’s top criminal investigation agency. 

Agents at the FBI’s Washington headquarters are conducting an inquiry into the group accused last week by regulators of conspiring to rig international interest rates. 

Barclays was last week fined £290m by regulators in America and Britain after admitting its role in fixing the rates at which banks lend to each other — known as Libor and Euribor — between 2005 and 2009. 

Although the settlement deal ensures the bank is no longer under investigation, the agreement did not extend to the unnamed traders - who are believed to have been based mostly in London and New York. 

The Serious Fraud Office is also conducting an inquiry into the individuals. However, senior financial investigators said that the Americans have greater scope to bring a case to court. The FBI could attempt to extradite any Britons involved in the affair to America if it finds there is a case to answer.
The Libor-rigging investigation extends to 20 of the world’s biggest banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group are also involved.
Regulators and criminal investigators on three continents are examining traders’ activities. RBS has fired about 10 staff as a result. Dozens of bankers at other institutions have been sacked or suspended.
Libor and Euribor are the benchmark rates used to price more than £300 trillion of financial products, from credit cards and mortgages to complex financial derivatives. 

In the run- up to the financial crisis, traders are said to have attempted to manipulate the rates to boost their bonuses or protect their jobs. At the peak of the financial crisis, they artificially lowered rates to disguise the stress on the banks’ balance sheets. 

Barclays is the first bank to strike a deal in an attempt to bring an end to the affair. It blew the whistle on its own traders and agreed to settle at an early stage in exchange for a 30% cut in financial punishment. 

The revelations have left Barclays’ chief executive, Bob Diamond, fighting for his job and provoked fresh anger about City greed. David Cameron called for senior bankers to “take responsibility for the actions” while Vince Cable, the business secretary, said the nation needed to clean up “a massive cesspit in the banking system”. 

Demands are mounting for a full public inquiry into banking ethics and standards. Diamond and Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays, will face the Commons’ Treasury committee this week. Diamond is expected to push blame towards other banks — and the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the regulator. 

Barclays executives raised concerns about potential manipulation of Libor four years ago, at the peak of the financial crisis. Documents released by the FSA last week quote emails from the bank’s staff stating that the regulator believed manipulating Libor “seems sensible” given the extreme stresses in the financial markets at the time. 

According to the FSA last week, the bank’s submitters — staff who compiled its borrowing rates — thought the Bank of England condoned the practice of tweaking the numbers downwards. This was because of a misunderstanding as senior management passed commands down, the FSA said.
It is unclear how much Diamond knew at the time. Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury committee, is expected to focus on this in his questioning. 

Several Barclays investors rallied to Diamond’s defence. One top 20 shareholder said: “By the time this chapter of history is written, I suspect there will be other banks that will have got far bigger fines.”
Diamond is “still sufficiently critical to the running of large swaths of this business that to throw him overboard would be to the detriment of shareholders”, the investor added. 

Agius is also under pressure to resign. Some shareholders are still upset with his handling of a row over a £ 5.7m payment to Diamond to cover a tax bill. Investors will not push for his exit immediately to avoid destabilising the bank further. 

Some shareholders are said to want Agius to be replaced by Sir Mike Rake, BT’s chairman and Barclays’ senior independent director. 

Chuka Umunna, shadow business secretary, urged Agius to quit as chairman of the British Bankers’ Association, which compiles Libor. Bob Diamond is Britain’s most hated banker. If the rankings were ever in doubt, the tsunami of opprobrium that washed over the Barclays chief executive last week confirmed his status as public enemy No1.

A big thank you to the FBI ... you might like to make an application to extradite the scum today lest they disappear from the radar, and you need to question the men and women at the top of the fraudulent banking organisations !

No comments:

Post a Comment