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Report: UK SFO considering fresh investigation into HBOS fraud case

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office, or SFO, is weighing up a fresh probe into the alleged fraud at HBOS PLC's Reading branch, The Times reported, citing an email written by a National Crime Agency manager.

According to the email, which was sent to John Goddard, managing director of Affordable Access to Justice, an organization that assists bank victims, the SFO is conducting a pre-investigative review of the claims in the so-called Project Lord Turnbull report, which indicated that the Lloyds Banking Group PLC unit had a strategy to cover the fraud for nearly eight years.

A criminal investigation into the scam, which affected hundreds of business customers, has already led to the conviction of six individuals including two of HBOS' former bankers.

In April, the British police, the SFO and Financial Conduct Authority agreed that the NCA would lead a preliminary review into the fraud case to determine whether a full criminal investigation was warranted. The Scottish police are also looking into the matter.

Lloyds noted it was not aware of any such investigation by the SFO, The Times added.