UK anti-fraud agency boss says makes progress in Libor probe

LONDON, March 26 Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:37pm EDT

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - Britain's anti fraud agency said on Tuesday it was on the brink of announcing "significant progress" in its investigation into the alleged rigging of benchmark interest rates.

David Green, head of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), told a seminar for fraud lawyers in London he expected to be able to update the industry "in the next quarter".

Green declined to divulge further details.

The SFO arrested three men last year as part of a global investigation into Libor (London interbank offered rate).

"We're moving hard and fast with our investigation," Green said, adding that the SFO, which was granted an extra 3.5 million pounds ($5.3 million) to investigate Libor last year, would receive more than that this year from its governmental paymasters.

The SFO has also doubled the number of its investigation team to 60.

Green brushed aside questions about whether its relationship with its U.S. peer, the Department of Justice, had become strained.

"We are grown up and can work together," he said. "Relationships such as the transatlantic relationship ... has its ups and downs. We're all adults and we have to get on with it."

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