Three Former Barclays Traders Found Guilty in Libor Trial

Three of the five ex-Barclays traders accused of rigging Libor have been found guilty in a London court.

Libor-trio Jonathan Mathew, Jay Merchant, and Alex Pabon have been found guilty of conspiring with other Barclays employees to rig the London interbank offered rate (Libor) four years after Barclays paid out $385 million in fines for their part in fixing the benchmark rate.

The news comes less than one month after Finance Magnates reported that the jury had arrived at a guilty verdict on one of the defendants.

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The huge fines imposed prompted a global scandal during which CEO Bob Diamond lost his job and resulted in regulators eventually imposing around $9 billion in penalties on the financial industry.

No Verdict on Contogoulas and Reich

The jury were unable to reach verdicts on Stylianos Contogoulas and Ryan Reich during the hearing on Monday and the judge placed reporting restrictions on the initial guilty verdicts until the panel finished its deliberations.

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A further trader, Peter Johnson, the main Libor submitter, pleaded guilty to manipulating the rate in October 2014. All six men were accused of participating in a conspiracy from 2005 to 2007. The Serious Fraud Office now has to decide whether to seek a new trial for Contogoulas and Reich.

Unaware of Libor Manipulation

All the Barclays defendants have maintained that the practice of swaps traders talking to the cash desk about their preferred Libor rate existed well before they joined the bank and that they were only doing what their bosses told them. The three men who testified during the trial said that they weren’t aware of any Libor manipulation and haven’t been accused of any wrongdoing.

Former global head of fixed income Eric Bommensath, the investment bank’s chief operating officer, Mike Bagguley, and another executive, Harry Harrison, were implicated in evidence by Merchant, who said he found it “difficult to believe” his supervisors didn’t know what was happening.

Thirteen individuals have now appeared before the London courts, and seven more one-time traders from Barclays and Deutsche Bank are due to stand trial in September 2017, accused of rigging euro-counterpart Euribor.

 

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