The U.S. Department of Justice and British officials may file criminal charges this summer against Barclays employees that allegedly rigged Libor rates, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The formal charges would reinforce a new strategy in the six-year investigation into the scandal, targeting individuals instead of just institutions, the newspaper said Friday, citing unnamed sources.
However, although officials have called for current and former bank executives to be held responsible for the scandal, the sources said the charges will instead target mid-level employees, the Wall Street Journal said.
When it admitted wrongdoing in a $450 million settlement with U.S. and British regulators last year, Barclays admitted its derivatives traders asked others to adjust the bank’s Libor rate submission to benefit trading positions. The scandal was documented with emails between bank employees discussing the price-fixing scheme.
Regulators are said to be pursuing settlements with other banks involved in the scandal – Citibank and Bank of America are among U.S. institutions that may have been involved, the Wall Street Journal report said.
While the scheme had little effect on credit unions, corporates that owned assets tied to the Libor index were probably underpaid on their investments when the rate was set artificially low, credit union industry experts have said.