Interdealer brokers come under spotlight in Libor investigation

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Interdealer brokers, the financial institutions that act as go betweens in transactions between major investment banks, could be the next companies to face regulatory scrutiny over Libor manipulation, according to experts.

Investigation by international regulators has already led to the arrest of two executives at broker RP Martin, while Tory donor Michael Spencer’s brokerage ICAP (LSE: IAP.L - news) , has been asked to provide information to investigators.

Although there is no suggestion that either of these companies has been involved in any wrongdoing experts predict it is only a matter of time before someone in the industry is dragged into the regulatory net.

Dr Pete Hahn of Cass Business School said: “What we are seeing now is that other parts of the financial services world are being drawn into this scandal.”

Although it is the mainstream banks that set Libor that have been at the heart of the scandal, if other institutions are found to be complicit they could face similar sanctions.

Simon Bevan, head of fraud at accountant BDO said: “This is the era of the regulator. If the Serious Fraud Office has electronic evidence of dishonesty by the interdealer brokers and if that dishonesty was for their gain or for the gain of a third party then prosecutions will follow as sure as night follows day.”

Last week two brokers at RP Martin, Terry Farr and Jim Gilmour, were arrested alongside former UBS trader Thomas Hayes, as part of an investigation into the alleged manipulation of Libor. All three men were understood to be involved in trading the Japanese benchmark yen-Libor rate.