Lianna Brinded 10 Apr 2017
Former Barclays employee Peter Johnson in 2014. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison in July 2016.
A secret recording of two former Barclays bankers allegedly puts Britain’s central bank in the middle of the LIBOR fixing scandal that rocked the country, says the BBC.
In the recording from 2008, one banker claims that the Bank of England pressured huge commercial banks to keep LIBOR rates low.
LIBOR – or the London interbank offered rate – is the daily measure showing the rate at which banks will lend to each other. It is used to set the price of hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of financial products.
The rate was rigged by traders from numerous banks, who agreed amongst themselves to submit rates that were either higher or lower than the rate should actually have been. It allowed them to make more money on trades.
Since the scandal first came to the public’s attention in 2012, the Bank of England has consistently said it did not know until much later about LIBOR rigging and of the practice of low-balling, as the submission of inaccurate Libor rates was called.
However, the recording from 2008 uncovered by BC Panorama appears to contradict the BoE’s claim. The transcript of the secret recording between a senior Barclays manager, Mark Dearlove, and LIBOR submitter Peter Johnson states that Barclays had “some very serious pressure from the UK government and the Bank of England about pushing our Libors lower.”
Here is a key part from the recording, as detailed by the BBC: