Police raid Barclays office in Milan over rate fixes

Italian police have raided a Barclays office in Milan, seizing documents as part of an inquiry into alleged rigging of European interest rates.

The latest blow to the bank's reputation comes amid reports that the Serious Fraud Office is moving to bring criminal charges for the Libor-fixing affair.

Barclays paid a £290m fine for its role in the scandal, and is so far the only bank to be punished

The bank was already the subject of scrutiny in Italy, with four of its top executives there awaiting trial in two separate cases. One of them involves alleged dubious lending practices, the other is over an alleged tax evasion scheme.

The defendants include Vittorio Maria De Stasio, who headed Barclays Italia. The bank is now said to be looking at selling its Italian branches.

Barclays is without a chief executive after the sudden departure of Bob Diamond after the Bank of England made it clear it no longer had confidence in him.