February 18, 2014 in Business

Ex-Barclays employees charged in Libor rate-fixing probe

Jim Puzzanghera Los Angeles Times
 

British authorities on Monday charged three former Barclays Bank employees with fraud for allegedly rigging a key interest rate in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The country’s Serious Fraud Office said it filed criminal charges against Peter Charles Johnson, Jonathan James Matthew and Stylianos Contogoulas in connection with the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, known as Libor.

The office, which investigates and prosecutes complex fraud cases, said the violations took place between June 2005 and August 2007.

In 2012, Barclays agreed to pay more than $450 million to U.S. and British authorities to settle investigations into manipulation of the benchmark interest rate.

A Barclays spokeswoman declined to comment Monday.

Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have been investigating the rate-fixing scandal since 2012. Libor is an average of certain interest rates offered by major banks and helps determine borrowing costs for consumers and corporations.

U.S. and British officials said banks manipulated their rate submissions to the group that calculates Libor, partly in an effort to make the banks appear healthier during the financial crisis.

Swiss banking giant UBS agreed in 2012 to pay a $1.5 billion fine to U.S. and European authorities to settle investigations into its role in the rate-rigging.

The three former Barclays employees charged Monday join three others charged in the ongoing British investigation

In June, the Serious Fraud Office charged Tom Alexander William Hayes, a former trader at UBS and Citigroup, with conspiracy to defraud. And in July, the office charged Terry John Farr and James Andrew Gilmour, former brokers at RP Martin Holdings, a London brokerage firm, with conspiracy to defraud.

Those three have pleaded not guilty.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus