Regulator says fine will not be isolated case

City A.M. Reporter
BARCLAYS’ record fine for rigging Libor interest rates should be a “watershed” moment for the wider financial industry to clean up its act and restore public trust, the head of enforcement at the City watchdog said yesterday.

The Libor penalty and last week’s news that the UK’s top four banks mis-sold interest rate swaps to small businesses compounds the stereotype of a sector that cannot be trusted and left to its own devices, said the FSA’s Tracey McDermott.

“Instead, it sells products to the wrong people at the wrong time in the wrong way. To change things in the future, to restore that trust and confidence... requires tough action from the regulator but it’s not our job alone,” McDermott told an FSA conference.

She also said Barclays was not an isolated case in the Libor debacle.

McDermott said “wave after wave of mis-selling scandals” meant the role of regulators must be rethought and warned firms which fail to improve despite repeated requests.