Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the strain of government budget cuts?

Could the contrast between Libor investigations at home and across the pond highlight injustice caused by budget cuts?

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Today the director of the government’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), David Green QC, announced that he will be investigating the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

fat-catHowever, considering the investigation will run alongside similar action in the US, the impact of recent SFO budget cuts could be brought into the spotlight.

The US are notoriously tougher on fraud investigations, so could the contrast between Libor investigations at home and across the pond highlight injustice caused by budget cuts?

Reuters reports on the announcement:

Britain’s fraud-busting agency on Friday said it had agreed to investigate the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal, which on Tuesday led to the departure of Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond.

The SFO said Monday it would decide within a month whether to press criminal charges over the Libor affair, amid concerns banks understated their borrowing costs to make it appear they were in better financial health than they were.

Last year, the Financial Times reported that the SFO’s budget was slashed by 26 per cent after the Coalition came to power, with another expected drop of 25% by 2014.

The report said:

The newly aggressive fraud watchdog… is under threat from falling budgets, staff losses and a planned government reorganisation, people inside and outside the agency have warned.

The Serious Fraud Office’s budget has fallen 26 per cent since the 2008-9 fiscal year to £39.5m in 2010-11 and it is due to drop another 25 per cent to £30.5m by 2014-15. Six prominent staff members, including the heads of policy and anti-corruption, as well as the officer in charge of the Tchenguiz case, have all resigned in the past few months.

 


See also:

Calls grow for an independent banking inquiry, after MPs give Diamond easy ride 5 Jul 2012

Miliband attacks “slow to act, bankrolled by the banks” Cameron at PMQs 4 Jul 2012

David Cameron: Once enraged over rioters, now complacent over bankers 3 Jul 2012

As tax avoidance fills the headlines, 10,000 jobs to be cut at HMRC 25 Jun 2012


 

A similar story was reported on Left Foot Forward recently – following revelations of prolific tax avoidance, the government pledged to tackle the issue while failing to mention 10,000 job cuts at HMRC.

This example, and the fact that the SFO is being attacked by budget cuts, suggest that the government has no conviction in its plans to tackle wealthy wrong doers.

 


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18 Responses to “Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the strain of government budget cuts?”

  1. NewsatLeft

    Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the… http://t.co/UusqDRhS #CleanPolitics #BobDiamond #fatcats #Libor #SFOinvestigation

  2. NewsatLeft

    Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the… http://t.co/5DBZdz5b #CleanPolitics #BobDiamond #fatcats #Libor #SFOinvestigation

  3. Katie Stanton

    Bankers needn't worry about the SFO investigation, their budget was slashed a year ago by the coalition: http://t.co/psuTMmrC #libor

  4. Soupy One

    Bankers needn't worry about the SFO investigation, their budget was slashed a year ago by the coalition: http://t.co/psuTMmrC #libor

  5. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the strain of government… http://t.co/jiDLZGNy

  6. Lord Blagger

    What about the 6 trillion fraud in government?

    The one where pensions are hidden off the books.

    Is that they aren’t there because they have no intention of paying them. If so, shouldn’t we be told?

  7. Frankly

    “(…) the government has no conviction in its plans to tackle wealthy wrong doers.”

    “Wealthy wrong doers” including Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown et al?

    http://tinyurl.com/c7eprw9

  8. AltGovUK

    Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the strain of government budget cuts? asks @LFFKatie: http://t.co/yNknXwbW #libor

  9. Anonymous

    You are trying to prevent pensions from being paid, as usual. That’s all there is to it.

  10. Anonymous

    Ah yes, we’re supposed to believe a Bankster trying to stay out of jail.

  11. Annette Carter

    Will the SFO investigation fail due to government budget cuts? | Left …: The US are notoriously tougher on fra… http://t.co/7WECDwXU

  12. Rebecca Devitt

    Will the SFO investigation fail due to government budget cuts? | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/eFl66n6c

  13. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the strain of government budget cuts? http://t.co/eHdUimlA

  14. Alan Cowan

    Will the SFO investigation fail due to government budget cuts? | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/yEA0FOOt

  15. Annette Carter

    Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the strain of government …: The US are notoriously tougher on… http://t.co/3kXlCyU8

  16. Tim

    RT @leftfootfwd: Will the SFO banking investigation succeed under the strain of government budget cuts? http://t.co/gP0Lw9ci

  17. Blarg1987

    And when did it start? Somehow I believe before Labour came to power, I agree it is wrong though.

  18. Boris Johnson argues against bank regulation, misses the point | Left Foot Forward

    […] See also: • Will the SFO investigation fail due to government budget cuts? 6 Jul […]

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