Lloyds Libor Probe Dropped by U.K. Investigators, Times Says

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. Serious Fraud Office has dropped a criminal investigation into Lloyds Banking Group Plc and its former traders over Libor rigging, according to a newspaper report.

Investigators concluded there was insufficient evidence to take the matter further in respect of former traders and the bank, The Times reported, without saying where it obtained the information. The SFO has written to Lloyds and the individuals to let them know they are no longer under investigation, the newspaper said.

Fines for rigging the London interbank offered rate have totaled more than $10 billion, according to an April analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. The scandals helped push Libor to the scrap heap as regulators around the world look for alternatives. Lloyds was fined about $380 million in July 2014 by U.K. and U.S. authorities for attempting to manipulate the dollar, sterling and yen Libor rates to suit the bank’s own positions and make the lender appear more stable during the financial crisis.

One problem faced by the SFO in the Lloyds probe was the difficulty of finding an expert prepared to provide evidence on the traders’ behavior in the wake of a recent controversy involving an expert witness hired by the anti-fraud agency, the Times said.

Lloyds’ stock is down 8.9 percent this year, trailing the 1.2 percent decline of the FTSE 100 Index.

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