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Suspected gilt-rigging by traders during QE

Traders in UK bonds were suspected of a "reprehensible" attempt to rig prices paid by the Bank of England as part of its programme of injecting billions of pounds into the ailing economy, MPs have been told.

The claims follow on from separate allegations about the manipulation of the interbank lending rate, or Libor, at the height of the financial crisis.

Members of the Commons Treasury Select Committee heard how regulators were informed of the Bank's suspicion that bond prices were being fixed following a "reverse-auction" of gilts, which are parcels of Government debt.

The suspected rigging related to purchases made as part of the Bank's ongoing £375 billion programme of quantitative easing.

Paul Fisher, executive director for markets at the Bank, said: "If that's what somebody was doing it would be thoroughly reprehensible and appropriate sanctions would follow."

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