AND THIS IS AN IMAGE OF THE FAMOUS MINISTRY OF SILLY WALKS SKETCH
THIS article has absolutely nothing to do with art, Albrecht Durer, in any way shape or form,although it certainly has to do with fraud, and thus does include art fraud, but when I read it last night, I was spitting out the water I was drinking, I was laughing so hard. I’m even going to include a copy of the email I sent to my Durersleuth in the UK for your reading enjoyment:
“I just saw this in the Telegraph. You all have a SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE???????? For real? SERIOUSLY?
Is this separate from the NON SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE? Do they report to the Ministry of Silly Walks? (AND FOR THOSE THAT MAY NOT KNOW, this reference is to ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SKETCHES DONE BY MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS, one of Britain’s most famous comedy groups ever)
And they haven’t done anything for 28 years? This IS a rather bizarre headline! SERIOUSLY!”
HERE GOES, FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE!
The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into the Bank of England’s money-market auctions amid fears they may have been hit by the rigging scandal that has engulfed the City.
The SFO revealed on Wednesday night that it is “investigating material referred to it by the Bank of England concerning liquidity auctions during the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008”.
It is unclear whether the probe, the first targeting the Bank in the SFO’s 28-year history, will focus on traders outside the BoE or officials inside the central bank.
The move came after the SFO was handed the results of an inquiry conducted last year by Lord Grabiner into whether any senior staff at the Bank were aware its auctions may have been rigged in 2007 and 2008.
During that time the Bank lent money against low and negative interest rates in return for asset-backed securities, in a bid to keep lending markets open as the credit crunch struck.
The Bank had commissioned that probe, and subsequently handed the results to the SFO late last year.
In a statement, the Bank said: “Following the confirmation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) that it is investigating material referred to it by the Bank of England, the Bank can now confirm that it commissioned Lord Grabiner QC to conduct an independent inquiry into liquidity auctions during the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008.
“Following the conclusion of that initial inquiry, the BoE referred the matter to the SFO on November 20, 2014.
“Given the SFO investigation is ongoing, it is not appropriate for the Bank to provide any additional comment on the matter at this time.”
The Bank revealed to a Treasury select committee on Tuesday that it has handed the Financial Conduct Authority dozens of instances of possible market rigging since bringing in new whistleblowing rules in the wake of the foreign exchange scandal.
Mark Carney told MPs that the central bank had uncovered 50 instances of market manipulation and that 42 of these had been handed to the City watchdog, which is investigating several of them.
Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury select committee, said: “The Bank referred this to the Serious Fraud Office when Lord Grabiner’s initial findings were made clear to them. This was the right thing to do. I was informed about the referral on November 21, 2014.
“We must now await the outcome of the SFO’s work. The sooner their findings are published the better.”
Mr Carney, the Bank’s Governor, admitted that Threadneedle Street’s reputation had “taken a knock” over the scandal, which drew in the Bank when allegations emerged that it had known about rigging.
Giving evidence to MPs on Tuesday, Mr Carney agreed that before the forex scandal emerged, the institution’s rules on raising the alarm about possible market rigging had been unclear, but said the Bank had introduced new policies since.
The Bank has brought in an “attestation and escalation policy” to encourage intelligence staff suspecting market manipulation to come forward.
An independent report published last year into the scandal reserved its criticism largely to Martin Mallett, the Bank’s former chief currency trader, saying he should have told his superiors about his concerns.
When traders at major banks were rigging foreign exchange rates, Mr Mallett developed concerns about manipulation, several years before the scandal became public.
Lord Grabiner, the barrister who carried out the report, criticised him for failing to escalate concerns, but also said the Bank needed a proper “escalation policy” to make sure that staff are able to raise the alarm.
Mr Mallett was fired over unrelated conduct issues, which Mr Carney revealed on Tuesday amounted to more than 20 violations of Bank rules, including “sharing a confidential bank document, venturing personal opinions about Bank policy… inappropriate language, inappropriate attachments to emails… incidents that could have brought the bank’s reputation into dispute”.
Mr Carney also said the revelations about the institution’s place in the scandal “hasn’t been a pleasant experience”, but that “the test of the organisation is how it responds to this… what’s critical are the changes to policies and procedures [we have put in place]”.
Lord Grabiner’s report, whose credibility has been questioned by MPs, was published in November on the same day that six banks were fined a combined £2.7bn for allowing traders to rig foreign exchange benchmarks.
A London banker was arrested in connection with the forex-rigging probe in December.
Chancellor George Osborne told the SFO it would be given a blank cheque to investigate wrongdoing