SFO backed out of rates probe

INVESTIGATORS at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) considered launching an investigation into abuse of the Libor interest last September but decided against it due to a lack of funds, it was claimed yesterday.

Former SFO director Richard Alderman took the decision, allegedly citing overstretched resources at the anti-fraud agency.

This left the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to pursue the case on its own.

The FSA and SFO are now reconsidering whether there is a criminal case to answer.

The SFO’s budget has been cut from £52m in the 2008-09 financial year to £32m this year.