Friday 20 October 2017

Three bankers convicted in Libor rigging case in London

Four years ago Barclays became the first of 11 powerful banks and brokerages to be slapped with a hefty fine over rate fixing allegations. Photo: PA
Four years ago Barclays became the first of 11 powerful banks and brokerages to be slapped with a hefty fine over rate fixing allegations. Photo: PA

Kirstin Ridley and Carolyn Cohn

Three former Barclays traders have been found guilty of conspiring to fraudulently manipulate global benchmark interest rates in a stark warning to junior bankers and a victory for Britain's Serious Fraud Office.

Calcutta-born Jay Merchant (45), the most senior of the men on trial in London, was convicted unanimously while 35-year-old British former Libor submitter Jonathan Mathew and former trader Alex Pabon, a 38-year-old American, were found guilty by a majority jury verdict after a 10-week trial.

A second Libor submitter, 61-year-old Peter Johnson, had pleaded guilty. The men are expected to be sentenced at London's Southwark Crown Court on Thursday.

Reporting restrictions were lifted yesterday after the jury failed to reach a verdict on two other defendants.

Four years ago Barclays became the first of 11 powerful banks and brokerages to be slapped with a hefty fine over rate fixing allegations, sparking a political and public backlash that forced out charismatic former ceo Bob Diamond, an overhaul of Libor rules and the criminal inquiry.

Merchant, the most senior banker on trial, and junior bankers Mathew and Pabon denied one count of dishonestly skewing Libor, a benchmark for rates on about $450 trillion of contracts and loans worldwide, to defraud others and make more money for themselves and Barclays between June 2005 and September 2007. The men told the court their bosses sanctioned communications on Libor rates, that they sent emailed Libor requests over corporate message systems in full view of compliance staff and that rates commonly reflected derivatives positions at the time. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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