chapter  3
18 Pages

What role does competition law have to play in the prosecution of financial crime in the UK?

WithDiana Johnson

The United Kingdom (UK) banking sector has shown itself vulnerable to infringements of competition law. This is due in part to the small number of large banks operating in the financial services sector, each of whom has a significant market share. This chapter argues that regulatory changes since the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) scandal of 2012 risk letting the competition law enforcement of financial crime slip between the two regulators – the Competition and Markets Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. It considers the LIBOR scandal through the lens of competition law. The chapter shows that the UK government could have achieved successful criminal prosecutions if the regulator had used competition law to prosecute banks and traders for LIBOR fixing offences. It analyses how different the outcome could have been in the UK if competition law had been used to enforce the LIBOR rate fixing, instead of the charge of conspiracy to defraud, brought by the Serious Fraud Office.