Mise à jour : 23 juillet 2012 (Rédaction initiale : 17 juillet 2012 )

Sur le vif

The case of the Libor shows that from 2008 the Bank of England was alerted and would not have reacted. The July 9, 2012, Vice Governor denies formally.


The case of the Libor is already designated as case which will constitute a turning point in the banking regulation. Indeed, even beyond the astronomical amounts of fines, penalties and damages that were intended to be pronounced, it’ s the declarative system, that is to say the part of self-regulation, the system which is in question. All banks are implicated. Further investigation for agreement is also open. More importantly, it would appear that the Bank of England, Central Bank, knew as early as 2008, has not reacted, or has covered, or even may have been complicit in banks. Therefore, the terrible question appears: "who rely?".


© thejournalofregulation

It appeared that Barclays Bank has committed the breach of course handling which justified assent on 27 June 2012 by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Such a pull which is unravelling, the suspicion has come to all control, regulation and supervision authorities, all authorities prosecuted civil and criminal, that other banks could have committed a breach. Indeed, nothing is easier, in a declarative system, for a bank to declare intentions of transactions on the market to get the interbank rate (Libor), on which the operations that the Bank operates are lowered.

The effect self-fulfilling can be manipulated at will. Normally, ethics is opposed. At the very least, the banking regulator ensures that. Thus, if one does not have enough confidence in the ethics and self-regulation, confidence in central banks, in on which banking regulation and supervision of banks converge, that is enough. This is why is dramatic the announcement on July 8 by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, he warned that the Bank of England in 2008 that the behaviour of some British banks, including Barclays, was problematic.

The Secretary of State was amazed at the lack of response by the Central Bank of the United Kingdom. Since then, information seems to show contacts between the Central Bank and the president of Barclays, October 29, 2008. In a memo kept by the president of the commercial bank, the central banker told him that it was not necessary to declare such high rates. In a financial crisis, the interbank rate was so high that the bank could not refinance at a higher price, except to make a statement to a lower amount, mechanically triggering a lower interbank rate, and therefore more favourable to himself , probably also avoiding overheating of the interbank market, or even explode.

It remains that this manipulation, technically a manipulation, have been made ​​in concert between the commercial bank and central bank. The Central Bank could argue that the best interests of the banking market, financial market and the country is required, otherwise the systemic crisis was exposing everything in the end of October 2008. The deputy governor of the Central Bank, which would have made this process with Barclays, which must now respond to the British Parliament, does not choose this defense.

In its hearing on July 9, 2012 before the deputies, he says his appeal had to end as to warn the president of the commercial bank of the seriousness of his situation and nothing to get him to manipulate prices. It was then somehow "word against word" ...We will see in the coming weeks what is the word of a central banker. The stakes are high. Indeed, one of the highlights of the Basel III reform was to transfer many of powers of financial regulators to central banks, because they had lost confidence in the former. What would happen should we lose confidence in the latter?

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