Fraud office probes Bank of England auctions

5th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Britain's Serious Fraud Office is investigating auctions by the Bank of England designed to inject cash into the banking system during the financial crisis, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The bank said it had commissioned an inquiry into "liquidity auctions during the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008", and had referred the results to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in November.

"Given the SFO investigation is ongoing, it is not appropriate for the Bank to provide any additional comment on the matter at this time," the bank said in a statement.

In November, Britain's Financial Times reported that the central bank was probing whether staff knew of or were involved in manipulating liquidity auctions.

The investigation of the SFO, a British government department that investigates and prosecutes complex fraud and corruption, comes in the wake of a scandal over the manipulation of exchange rates by currency dealers in major banks.

An earlier investigation into whether Bank of England officials knew of or were involved in foreign exchange market manipulation cleared staff of wrongdoing.

The chairman of parliament's Treasury Committee Andrew Tyrie said that the central bank was right to refer the findings of the liquidity auction investigation to the SFO.

"We must now await the outcome of the SFO's work," Tyrie said. "The sooner their findings are published, the better."

© 2015 AFP

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