Bankers at Barclays claimed they were pressured by the central bank to rig the benchmark interest rate during the global financial crisis, according to a recording of a conversation in 2008 published by the BBC on Monday.
In the recording, a man identified as Barclays executive Mark Dearlove can be heard ordering Peter Johnson, the Barclays employee responsible for helping to set Libor, to lower the rate.
“We’ve had some very serious pressure from the UK government and the Bank of England about pushing our Libors lower,” Dearlove says in the recording.
Johnson responds, saying: “So I’ll push them below a realistic level of where I think I can get money?”
Dearlove then confirms his instruction, according to the BBC.
“The fact of the matter is we’ve got the Bank of England, all sorts of people involved in the whole thing … I am as reluctant as you are … these guys have just turned around and said just do it,” he says.
The BBC said the conversation between Dearlove and Johnson took place on Oct. 29, 2008, the same day that former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond spoke to former Bank of England official Paul Tucker. Tucker and Diamond were asked about the contents of the call during testimony before UK lawmakers in 2012.
Full Content: CNN
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