It has been reported that the Serious Fraud Office has charged two brokers with conspiracy to defraud as it continues with its criminal investigation into the alleged rigging of the LIBOR rates. This follows in the wake of the fines levied upon Barclays of £290 million last summer by US and UK regulators.
LIBOR rates are the interest rates at which banks lend to each other. LIBOR is used to set £364trillion of contracts ranging from complex derivatives, including interest rate hedging products, to household mortgages.
The continued investigation into LIBOR rates will be welcome news to businesses who entered into certain interest rate hedging products that were linked to LIBOR. Two cases are presently before the Court of Appeal where the mis-selling is linked to the LIBOR fixing. The decisions in these two cases are expected in October 2013 and will be viewed with great interest by those businesses who do consider that they have been mis-sold interest rate hedging products.
By commercial litigation solicitor, Leanne Millhouse