The Bank of England pressured banks to lower Libor rates, according to a secret recording

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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The BoE said Libor was not regulated at the time (Source: Getty)

A 2008 recording is said to implicate the Bank of England (BoE) in the Libor rigging scandal.

The secret recording, uncovered by the BBC, adds to evidence the BoE repeatedly pressured commercial banks to lower their benchmark rates during the 2008 financial crisis.

Barclays manager Mark Dearlove is quoted as saying: "The bottom line is you're going to absolutely hate this... but we've had some very serious pressure from the UK government and the Bank of England about pushing our Libors lower."

The BoE has said Libor was not regulated in the UK during the time in question but that it has been assisting the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in investigating Libor manipulation on a voluntary basis, according to the report.

Read more: Senior Barclays' banker believes bank's Libor rules had flaws, court hears

A Bank of England spokesperson said:"Libor and other global benchmarks were not regulated in the UK or elsewhere during the period in question. Nonetheless, the Bank of England has been assisting the SFO’s criminal investigations into Libor manipulation by employees at commercial banks and brokers by providing, on a voluntary basis, documents and records requested by the SFO.

"The Bank is committed to publishing materials relating to the SFO’s investigations into benchmark manipulation when it is appropriate to do so.

"Until the SFO’s ongoing prosecutorial activity relating to Libor and other benchmarks has concluded, the Bank is not in a position to publish these materials."

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