The U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is increasing the budget of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) as political pressures are heating up around allegations of banks manipulating Libor rates. The additional funds are to go toward the preparation of criminal investigations into the charges. The agency's budget in 2008 was £52 million; this year, it is £32 million. The SFO had unsuccessfully lobbied the government for a greater budget.
Days earlier, the Financial Times reported that the SFO had decided last year to turn down opening a criminal probe because of limited resources. Richard Alderman, the former director of the SFO, had determined that the agency's budget was too limited and that the Office of Fair Trading and the Financial Services Authority would be in a better position to handle the probe.
Full content: Financial Times
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