Bank of England investigated for rigging markets, covering up for banks

Section:

But that's only what central banks were created to do.

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Fraud Probe into Bank of England Guidance in Emergency Auctions

By Caroline Binham and Lindsay Fortado
Financial Times, London
Monday, September 28, 2015

LONDON -- The Serious Fraud Office is investigating whether Bank of England officials told lenders to bid at a particular rate to minimise questions about the health of their ­balance sheets, thereby rigging emergency auctions at the onset of the financial crisis.

It is investigating whether banks and building societies were instructed to offer roughly the same amount of collateral so no lender would be singled out for overbidding, insiders said.

Over-pledging by an individual lender at the time of the auctions could have been seen as a sign of desperation, adding more turbulence to already volatile financial markets.

The central bank introduced the auctions in late 2007 after money markets had frozen, allowing lenders to swap a wider range of assets for funding and gain access to emergency liquidity.

The SFO, which launched the probe this year, is deciding whether it is in the public interest to pursue the case. The central bank action has been characterised as an attempt to spare the financial system more stress when it was on the brink of meltdown. A decision whether to proceed with charges is expected before the end of the year. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2c226b54-6375-11e5-9846-de406ccb37f2.html



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