WASHINGTON — The House Financial Services Committee has opened a bipartisan examination of allegations that the London interbank offered rate was manipulated.
Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., and Rep. Barney Frank, the committee’s top Democrat, informed other members Monday that the panel will hold non-public briefings on the Libor scandal with outside experts, regulators and other relevant parties.
Several banks are under investigation for allegedly submitting false information meant to manipulate Libor, a measure used to establish a wide range of interest rates. Barclays has already agreed to pay fines for its alleged role in the scandal.
The House committee has not scheduled hearings focused on the Libor allegations, although members of the committee are expected to ask top policymakers about the scandal at two previously-scheduled hearings. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke will appear before the committee on Wednesday, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will testify on July 25.
A memo co-written by Bachus and Frank indicates that it may only be a matter of time before hearings devoted to the scandal are scheduled.
"The committee will, in consultation with the chairs and ranking members of the subcommittees of jurisdiction, schedule additional hearings as appropriate on Libor-related issues, including public and private policy initiatives to improve the transparency and reliability of indices and reduce the possibility of index manipulation," they wrote.
Last week, the Senate Banking Committee announced that it too was scheduling a bipartisan briefing on Libor.