Barclays LIBOR Scandal Sparks Congressional Probe

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U.S. officials are looking into the British financial scandal involving a key global interest rate.

A House Financial Services subcommittee and the Senate Banking Committee want to know what American regulators knew about charges that the British bank Barclays was manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR.

The international interest rate helps set short-term rates around the world, and it influences mortgages and other loans in the United States and abroad.

"I am concerned by the growing allegations of potential widespread manipulation of LIBOR and similar interbank rates by some financial firms," Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said in a statement.

"At my direction, the Committee staff has begun to schedule bipartisan briefings with relevant parties to learn more about these allegations and related enforcement actions," he added.

"It is important that we understand how any manipulation may impact American consumers and the U.S. financial system," he said.

British and U.S. authorities have already fined Barclays $453 million for providing false information to the people who calculate LIBOR.

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