Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Tuesday, 3 July 2012 16:48 UK

Clarke: Rate-rigging scandal may involve criminal offences

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating whether any crimes were committed during the course of the Libor rate-rigging scandal, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has confirmed.

As Mr Clarke and his team took MPs' questions on a range of topics relating to the work of his department on 3 July 2012, he said: "It seems to me quite plainly that a matter of possible crime is involved in what has been described."

The justice secretary added: "I am glad to say that the Serious Fraud Office is, I am assured, investigating. It is properly for them, and obviously it is not a matter for ministers in the end whether anybody is prosecuted for anything."

The comments were prompted by a question from Conservative MP Robert Buckland, who told MPs: "The failure to bring criminal prosecutions against those who have wrought such havoc to our banking system continues to cause huge public concern."

He asked whether Mr Clarke had discussed with his ministerial colleagues "how any fresh investigations are going to be properly supported and resourced".

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has resigned a week after the bank was fined a record amount for trying to manipulate inter-bank lending rates.

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