UK Serious Fraud Office probes Bank of England auctions during financial crisis

Markets Associated Press

Britain's Serious Fraud Office says it is investigating Bank of England auctions in 2007 and 2008 that were designed to inject cash into the banking system during the financial crisis.

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The announcement late Wednesday came as Britain's central bank confirmed that it commissioned its own inquiry into the auctions last year. The bank says the results of that probe were referred to the Serious Fraud Office.

Britain's Financial Times reported last November that the central bank had opened an investigation into whether its staff knew of or facilitated manipulation of the auctions. The FT said the auctions provided cash to financial institutions to keep the interbank lending markets functioning.

Earlier this week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney declined to comment when members of Parliament asked him about the probe.