On Thursday 27 December it was reported by Reuters that Barclays “accidentally lost” 10 years of instant chat message data, over the period LIBOR was known to be rigged, killing off any serious hopes of a prosecution for USD LIBOR manipulation.
Financial campaigners have questioned whether investigations into LIBOR would confirm the presence of cartel like activity in currencies other than Japanese Yen, to which previous fines levelled against RBS, UBS, Barclays and ICAP relate.
LIBOR is set in 16 currencies. The top 5 traded currencies by volume being USD, Euro, JPY, Stirling, and AUD.
With 16 globally traded LIBOR currencies, even 18 months after the first Barclays fine of June 2012, according to regulators only evidence of Yen manipulation has been uncovered. All of the UK and EU based charges against largely UK and EU banks have been curiously restricted to Japanese Yen LIBOR.