Britain's financial regulator said Monday that it is considering whether there are grounds for a full-blown investigation of Goldman Sachs after U.S. authorities filed civil fraud charges.
British interest in the case is likely to key on Royal Bank of Scotland, which paid $841 million to Goldman Sachs in 2007 to unwind its position in a fund acquired in the takeover of Dutch Bank ABN Amro, according to the complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
"As you would expect, the FSA is investigating the circumstances of this case and whether there are any implications for the U.K. regulated entities of Goldman Sachs," the agency said in a statement.
"If there are, we will take appropriate action. We work closely with overseas regulators and will be cooperating fully with the SEC investigation."
There was no indication how quickly a decision could be made.
The possibility that RBS might be able to recoup some money from Goldman Sachs helped boost the government-controlled bank's shares, which were up 2.8 percent at midday.
The government holds an 84 percent stake in the bank, which nearly collapsed in large part because of its leadership of the consortium which took over the Dutch bank.
The bank had no comment on the case on Monday.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday said that he wanted the FSA to launch an immediate investigation of Goldman Sachs.
"I know that the banks themselves will be considering legal action. We will work with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States of America," Brown said in a BBC interview.
"The banks are still an issue. They are still a risk to the economy."
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