The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged ten people with manipulation of the Euribor interbank lending benchmark rate, the authority said today. The group comprises four former employees of Barclays and six who used to work at Deutsche Bank, two of the lenders that suffered the gravest consequences of another benchmark rate rigging scandal – Libor.
More Bankers Facing Prosecution
The SFO said in its statement that the charge against the ten individuals is conspiracy to defraud, adding that criminal proceedings will be initiated against other people, as well as the continuation of its investigation into the benchmark rate manipulation.
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The defendants will appear before the court on January 11 of next year, the SFO said. Among them is Barclays’ ex-head of global non-sterling liquidity Colin Bermingham, as well as former Deutsche Bank’s top derivatives trader Christian Bittar.
The investigation into possible manipulation of the benchmark rate used to price euro-denominated loans and credits has been running since 2012 at the SFO, almost parallel with that into the rigging of the Libor rate.
Hearings Set for January
So far, the authority noted, only one individual has been convicted on charges of manipulating the London interbank lending rate, Tom Hayes, formerly with Citigroup and UBS, who was sentenced to 14 years in jail. Currently, there are six people being tried at a London court for their participation in the affair, and another five are due in court, again in London, at the beginning of next year.
The clampdown on rate manipulation is a collective undertaking of the UK, US and European regulators. Most recently, US prosecutors brought to court two former Rabobank employees, both senior traders, who were convicted by a District Court in New York a few days ago. https://www.financemagnates.com/institutional-forex/regulation/former-rabobank-libor-traders-facing-up-to-30-years-in-prison/.