Barclays Libor Court Case Delayed Until April 2014

The first UK trial concerning the alleged fraudulent manipulation of Libor rates has been delayed until next year after Barclays won the right to challenge aspects of the high court case.

The trial, brought by Guardian Care Homes (GCH), will be delayed until April 2014 pending the appeal court's ruling.

GCH, which is suing Barclays for £70m over the alleged mis-selling of interest-rate hedging products (swaps) that were based on Libor, described the bank's appeal as "highly opportunistic".

Gary Hartland, chief executive of GCH, said the bank's decision to lodge an appeal five months after the high court ruling "hints at a last throw of the dice by a business desperate to avoid facing rightful justice".

Speaking after a short case-management hearing, he added: "Barclays has admitted aggressively selling these highly complex financial products, which were designed to protect someone against an interest rate raise, and it is absolutely right that they should face allegations on the grounds that they were manipulating that rate for their own benefit."

Barclays, which denies all the allegations, lodged the appeal after a successful challenge by Deutsche Bank in a similar case last week. The British bank said GCH had "a suite of advisers and a lot of financial experience and skill in-house. Barclays understands the client entered into their swap agreements with sufficient understanding to exercise their own judgment as to whether the products would meet their business objectives. This is a significant business which owes Barclays £70m."

This year Barclays was forced to reveal the identities of more than 100 employees, including its former chief executive Bob Diamond and investment banking boss Rich Ricci, named in regulatory findings as part of its £290m Libor settlement in June.

The bank carried out three internal Libor-related investigations, including one called the Libor investigation employee review committee.

A provisional trial date has been set for 29 April 2014.

Powered by article was written by Rupert Neate, for The Guardian on Monday 29th April 2013 17.25 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © Dick Johnson

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