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Libor trial hears how bankers rigged benchmark for own advantage.

BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-April 6, 2016-Libor trial hears how bankers rigged benchmark for own advantage


A court heard on Tuesday that five former Barclays bankers rigged key interest rate benchmark Libor "for their own advantage" in a conspiracy "driven by money" the Telegraph reported on the same day.

The five men on trial have pleaded not guilty to the accusation of conspiracy to defraud from June 2005 to September 2007. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) claims that Libor submitter Jonathan Mathew, and swaps traders Stylianos Contogoulas, Jay Merchant, Alex Pabon, and Ryan Reich, "dishonestly agreed to procure or make submissions of rates by Barclays, a panel bank, into the Dollar Libor setting process which were false or misleading".

According to the SFO the intention was to benefit Barclays' trading positions to the cost of the bank's counterparties, and the traders "deliberately disregarded the proper basis for submission of those rates".

James Hines QC, prosecution lead counsel, told the jury "they rigged for their own advantage what is in fact a global financial benchmark."

Hines compared the practice to a bookmaker paying a jockey to try less hard to win a race, or a gambler betting on a roulette wheel only for the croupier to place the ball on the opposite colour. The prosecution has tried not to estimate the scale of the traders' profits or the alleged losses of counterparties. The defendants' lawyers have yet to present their case. The trial is anticipated to last for three months.

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Publication:M2 Banking & Credit News (BCN)
Date:Apr 6, 2016
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