LEADING SOLICITOR WARNS THAT LIBOR CONVICTIONS COULD BE THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG
The conviction of three men for manipulating the LIBOR rate could be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wrongdoing in banking, an award-winning business crime solicitor warned today. Aziz Rahman, of Rahman Ravelli Solicitors, made the claim as the trio were due to be sentenced for manipulating the US dollar LIBOR rate.
Mr Rahman voiced concerns that those convicted may be “sacrificial lambs’’ who have paid the price for the illegal banking practices of many others. And he questioned whether the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and other investigating authorities would succeed in bringing everyone to justice for the banking sector’s illegal practices regarding LIBOR and Forex.
He said: “The jury has decided that thee men acted dishonestly and they have been convicted. But the question has to be asked: was this a problem that went far beyond a small group of people who have been arrested and charged?
“These men could be the sacrificial lambs who pay the price while many of their counterparts, who indulged in the same thing or approved it, are still sat behind their desks feeling relieved - as they know that the arrests were just the tip of the iceberg. There may be many who were involved who have not yet been investigated or prosecuted.
“The authorities need to put banking practices under the microscope and determine whether many more people need to be called to account.’’
Mr Rahman believes that if banking is placed under closer inspection, many more in the profession will need expert legal representation if they are to avoid the fate of the three men being sentenced today.
He added: “As more information comes out about these LIBOR convictions, we will be able to assess the exact grounds for prosecution. If banking is to be put under the microscope then we may see many more people placed on trial regarding LIBOR, Forex or any other banking-related activities.’’