Serious Fraud Office drop probe into Forex rigging
The Serious Fraud Office started an investigation, to get some names and numbers in the £3.5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange rigging scandal... but have now decided to call the whole thing off. Thanks for your help, clearly.
The SFO said that they have "reasonable grounds" to suspect something was going on and that there was indeed wrongdoing, however, they've said that they think they've got next-to-no chance of actually getting anyone convicted over it all.
This follows six traders who were cleared of rigging Libor rates, in a case brought to courts by the SFO. A number of financial institutions have already coughed-up huge amounts of money in regulators over this scandal, with the total combined amount standing somewhere around the £7 billion mark.
The companies involved included RBS, Barclays, HSBC, as well as Citigroup, UBS, JP Morgan, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The Financial Conduct Authority managed to issue £1.4 billion in fines over the last couple of years, and found that traders where sharing information to fix rates at the expense of clients.
The SFO said: "A detailed review of the available evidence led us to the conclusion that the alleged conduct, even if proven and taken at its highest, would not meet the evidential test required to mount a prosecution," but there's "insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction".
They added: "Whilst there were reasonable grounds to suspect the commission of offences involving serious or complex fraud, a detailed review of the available evidence led us to the conclusion that the alleged conduct, even if proven and taken at its highest, would not meet the evidential test required to mount a prosecution."
They concluded that “this evidential position could not be remedied by continuing the investigation”.