As 2019 was the year that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) ended its seven-year investigation into LIBOR rigging, Al Jazeera asked Rahman Ravelli Legal Director Neil Williams for his thoughts on the conclusion of the scandal.
Neil outlined his belief that the number of individuals acquitted could be seen as an indicator that the practice of rigging was considered acceptable at the time.
He also emphasised the point that while the early stages of many SFO investigations see senior figures questioned it is often the case that those further down the power structure – the “smaller players’’ – are the ones who end up being prosecuted.
According to him, it is the lower-level employees who come to be viewed by the SFO as being easier to convict.
With the use of LIBOR set to end in December 2021, a number of alternative benchmarks are vying to be recognised as its replacement. But Neil told Al Jazeera that whatever takes the place of LIBOR the rewards are so great in banking that the temptation to bend the rules will always be there.
Neil’s comments featured on Al Jazeera.