The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in Britain has arrested three people in connection with the Libor interest rate manipulation scandal.
Regulators across the globe are conducting investigations into more than a dozen banks that help set benchmarks like Libor that are used to determine the borrowing costs for trillions of financial products like credit cards, student loans, and mortgages.
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In June, Barclays PLC paid $450 million to settle charges that some of its employees were responsible for manipulating Libor to enhance profits.
The Royal Bank of Scotland is currently talking with regulators and will likely disclose fines before its next earnings report in February.
The traders arrested were said to have communicated by instant messages on Bloomberg machines. Traders at participating banks would indicate their wish to see a higher or lower yen Libor to enhance their trading positions.
The SFO began its investigations in July after the uproar over the rate manipulation scandal at Barclays.
The SFO has a new director who has committed to overhaul the office after a series of mistakes by the organization.
But the SFO’s process is typically very slow so it may be a long time before other arrests
are made and criminal charges are filed.